Indiana Historical Society Calls for Volunteers to Virtually Judge Student History Contests

(INDIANAPOLIS) — The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) is looking for volunteers to serve as virtual judges for the 2021 National History Day in Indiana (NHDI) contests.

NHDI is a yearlong program dedicated to enhancing history education in Indiana’s schools. Students in grades four through 12 explore a historical subject that fits under the annual theme. This year’s theme is “Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.” Students use their research to create a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance or website. To reach the 2021 NHDI State Virtual Contest, students must qualify at one of four regional virtual contests.

At the regional contests, judges work in teams to interview students about their project, give feedback, and rank winners. Regional finalists advance to the state contest — state projects are due by Thursday, April 22, with results announced on Monday, May 3. Then, the top two entries from each junior and senior category become eligible to compete in June at the National Contest for National History Day (NHD).

Although no experience is necessary to serve as a judge, interested individuals must attend one of two webinars in February. In the webinars, NHDI State Coordinator Jonnie Fox will discuss the new NHD rules and judging process, since all contests will be held virtually this year.

The two webinars take place on the following dates and times:

  • Thursday, February 11 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 25 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

To register, please visit

Volunteer time commitment is approximately 6 hours.

NHDI staff will provide a Zoom session on the Saturday of each contest weekend, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., for judges to meet and work with their judging teams. We strongly encourage that judges use this method to communicate with their judging teams.

Regional NHDI contests will take place virtually on the following dates and times:

  • South and IPS Regional Contest: March 4-7, 2021
  • Southwest Regional Contest: March 12-14, 2021
  • Central Regional Contest: March 19-21, 2021
  • North Regional Contest: March 26-28, 2021

The State Virtual Contest will take place from April 29 to May 2.

NHDI is a project-based, inquiry-based program that encourages students to explore their own passions by conducting research, developing research questions, and then exhibit their individual learning styles through the creation of exhibits, documentaries, performances, papers, and websites.

Educators and students alike use NHDI because it allows them to build critical thinking, inquiry, analysis, and presentation skills through subjects the students are passionate about. Whether students create mini projects in class or go all the way to regional and state contests, educators and students share in the control of the project.

Presented by the Rooker Family Foundation. Supported by TCU Foundation and the Vigran Family Foundation. State Contest Supported by DNR – Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology.

For more information, call (317) 232-1882 or visit .