Judging Massachusetts History Day
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Why judge at Massachusetts History Day?

Judging is key to the success of the Massachusetts History Day program! Hundreds of judges are needed to meet with students at regional and state-wide contests. Judging is a fantastic way to connect with students, support your community, and learn about history. Some of the perks of judging:

  • Support Massachusetts students
  • PDP credits for educators
  • Massachusetts History Day swag
  • Free breakfast and lunch
  • Meet other history enthusiasts
  • Promote the learning of history
  • Learn something new!

Who are the judges?

Hundreds of judges are needed across the four District contests, as well as for the State finals. Judges are history lovers from all walks of life - educators, librarians, archivists, history students, professors, historical society affiliates, museum personnel, national park rangers, History Day alumni, even armchair historians & history buffs!

What does judging involve?

Competition days starts approximately 8:00 AM and generally ends about 2:00 PM. You will attend a judge’s orientation in the morning before you meet with the students. This provides an opportunity to review any rule changes, discuss the annual theme, and to answer any questions you have about specific entries. We will provide morning coffee and pastries and a lunch at midday.

 Students are divided up into 2 divisions: Junior (grades 6-8) and Senior (grades 9-12). Within these divisions there are five categories: Research Paper, Exhibit, Documentary, Performance, or Website. While the physical rules vary from category to category, the underlying rules (historical accuracy, relation to theme, quality of bibliography, etc.) are the same across the board, from historical research papers to websites.

Judges will be assigned categories in teams of three. Judging assignments are handed out on contest day, with the exception of Papers and Websites--those judges receive projects in advance to review. (Web judges will be provided URL links to access the projects online. Papers will be distributed in PDF format). On contest day, Website and Paper judges will have a brief interview with students and then time to deliberate with your team. All other category judges will both view projects and interview students on contest day. Once your interviews are complete, you will meet with your team to decide the final winners and fill out the judges’ consensus forms that are then handed back to students.

How do I sign up? 

We will be posting our Judges Registration Forms for the 2020 season as the contests get closer.  For updates when those are announced, please sign up for our newsletter.  More information about the State contest can be found on our Contest Info page.  For more information, please contact the MHD State Coordinators at education@masshist.org

Please remember, students are counting on you.  They have been working on these projects since September!  If for any reason you cannot fulfill your commitment, please call or email your contest coordinators as early as possible before contest day.