Welcome to the Virtual Massachusetts State-Wide History Day Competition 2021

Important Dates & Times

A green and yellow logo for the National History Day 2021 Theme.  Text in a center circle reads "National History Day 2021, Communication in History: The Key to Understanding".

 

WelcBlack and white logo which reads "National History Day Massachusetts" and depicts a pilgrim's hat with the Boston skyline etched in the brim.ome to the National History Day Massachusetts State Competition!

National History Day in Massachusetts is the state affiliate of National History Day (NHD), an inter-disciplinary research project for students in grades 6-12 that encourages exploration of local, state, national, and world history.  The Massachusetts Historical Society is proud to be the affiliate sponsor of Mass History Day.

In order to guarantee a reliable and safe contest schedule during the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 National History Day in Massachusetts competition season will again be structured as a state-wide virtual competition. The contest will take place in two rounds, with time for students to revise projects between each round.  At the end of both rounds, we will hold our Virtual Winners Ceremony to announce the projects moving on to the NHD National Contest (which will also be virtual this year), as well as all NHD MA Special Prize Winners.  

In this registration portal Students and Teachers can register for the 2021 Massachusetts contest, upload their projects, get contest-day information, pay registration fees, and view evaluation forms after the competition.  Judges can register, review their project materials, and submit their evaluation forms.   Please read all instructions on the corresponding tabs (student, teacher, judges, volunteer) for more information, or visit our National History Day in Massachusetts website.

Still have questions? Contact State Coordinators Kate Melchior and Elyssa Tardif at nhd@masshist.org.

VIRTUAL MA HISTORY DAY TIMELINE

  • January 15: Registration for the Massachusetts Contest opens!  

  • Wednesday, February 24: Registration Deadline.  All students must be registered by this date.

  • Wednesday, March 10: Round One Lockout Date and Registration Fees Due.  Virtual project materials due for all five project categories.  

  • Wednesday, March 17, through Sunday, March 21: Round One Judging (no student interviews

  • Monday, March 29: Finalists moving on to Round 2 are announced

  • Wednesday, April 7: Round Two Lockout Date: Any revised project materials are due

  • Wednesday, April 14 to Sunday, April 18: Round Two Judging (no student interviews

  • Monday, April 26: Virtual Winners Ceremony: Announcement of both students advancing to Nationals and NHD MA Special Prize Award Winners

FORMS AND REGISTRATION MATERIALS

  • Online Material submissions due by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, March 10.

  • ALL categories will submit their virtual projects via their Z-Fairs profile. Only one member in a group needs to upload any project files (documentary links, paperwork, etc).  See our Students Tab here for more information on how to upload your project.

  • For more information on how to create a Virtual NHD project, visit our Virtual Project Guidelines page on our website.


 

 

 

 

Welcome NHD Students!Two students perform a skit at the front of a school classroom while two judges watch and take notes.  One student is wearing all black and a cap with a rounded top, while the other wears an old-fashioned lace-up dress and an apron.

In this section, you will find instructions on how to register, a guide to the contest, and information about special prizes.  

VIRTUAL STATE-WIDE CONTEST

In order to guarantee a reliable and safe contest schedule during the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 National History Day in Massachusetts competition season again will be structured as a state-wide virtual competition. The contest will take place in two rounds, with time for students to revise projects between each round. See details below for the structure of this year's virtual competition. Please read the following instructions carefully and contact us with any questions at nhd@masshist.org.

REGISTRATION

Read our 2021 NHD MA Student Registration Instructions.docx for detailed instructions on how to register for the contest. Make sure you do NOT register until after your teacher has done so!

Once you are logged in, please check all of the following:

  • Is all of your personal/contact information correct?
  • Group Projects: Does your student profile show all of your group members?
  • Do we have your correct mailing address if we need to mail you a special prize or medal?
  • Have you nominated your project for up to 4 special prizes?

REGISTRATION FEES:

This year's virtual contest, which combines our traditional Regional and State Contests, will have a fee of $10.  When you are prompted to pay the registration fee, you have a few options:

  • You can pay the registration fee with a credit card or by check/cash.  If paying by check or cash, select "Pay Online" and then in the "Registration Fee Payment Menu" select "Pay by Check" (use this option if paying by cash too!).  Please make out all checks to the Massachusetts Historical Society and mail payment along with your invoice to the address provided.
  • If your school is paying for your registration fee, you can skip this step by clicking "Generate Invoice.'' You can also select this option if you wish to pay later.
  • If the registration fee is a hardship for you, we will waive it for you.  Fill out this form and we will email you a coupon code to cover 100% of the fee. 
  •  

HOW THE VIRTUAL CONTEST WILL WORK:

This contest will involve all NHD in MA students from across the state, so it will be structured somewhat differently from our usual contests. Since we have so many projects competing, we will be modeling this contest after Nationals, which consists of two rounds of judging. Student projects will be judged in groups of 8-12 projects at a time. These groups will be assigned at random in each category. 

Registration closes on Wednesday, February 24, but you can edit your student profile and upload your project materials until the Round One lockout date on Wednesday, March 10.  All project materials must be uploaded by 11:59pm on this date.  Important: make sure to hit save after uploading your project materials or making any changes to your profile.

Due to concerns over student privacy and equitable access, we will not be holding student interviews during the 2021 competition (see below for more detail).  Instead, like last year our teams of judges will review all of your project materials independently.  

On Monday, March 29, we will announce the top projects in each judging room that will move on to Round Two of the contest. At this point, all students will receive their judging feedback forms, and student finalists will have the opportunity to attend feedback sessions (dates TBA) and revise their projects before resubmitting their project materials for Round Two.

The lockout date for Round Two is Wednesday, April 7. Students must upload and save any project revisions to their registration profile by11:59pm on this date. We will not be doing student interviews for Round Two.

At our Virtual Winners Ceremony on Monday, April 26, we will announce the winning projects that are advancing to Nationals. We will also announce our special prize winners. Even if your project did not move on to Round Two, you are still eligible for a special prize!

For more information on the NHD in Massachusetts 2021 Virtual History Day contest, visit the Contest Info page on our website or email us at nhd@masshist.org.

SPECIAL PRIZES NOMINATIONS

This year students will be able to nominate themselves in the registration portal for special prizes. These nominations, along with judges’ feedback, will help us to select  special prize winners. Please review the options for special prizes and select up to four special prizes that you feel best fit your project’s topic and theme. In group projects, only student in the group should select the four nominations on behalf of the group. The deadline to nominate your project for special prizes is the Round One lockout date on Wednesday, March 10.

STUDENT INTERVIEW CANCELLATION

After consulting with NHD Nationals and other affiliate coordinators, we have concluded that we will not be able to hold virtual interviews for our 2021 virtual competition.  Initially, NHD Massachusetts had planned to include virtual interviews as part of this year's contest.  However, concerns about equitable access to internet and videoconferencing technology for judges and students soon emerged, and it became clear that there would be risks to student privacy and data to contend with when managing interviews on this scale.  After consulting with the National office, we were advised to eliminate virtual interviews this year. 

This may be disappointing news, and we fully understand, as the interviews are one of our favorite parts of NHD!  However, the interview does not figure into evaluations or serve as a deciding factor in final rankings.  We look forward to holding in-person contests in the future when we can reinstate this part of the program.

Instead of interviews, we urge students to pay particular attention this year to the process paper, and to consider it a space to share information with judges about the research process and what students have learned.  Consider: What would you really love for a judge to know about you and your project?  Why is this topic important to you, and what have you learned this year?


If you have any questions or concerns about the competition, registration, your project or any other issues, feel free to email us at nhd@masshist.org!

 

Welcome NHD Educators!A teacher poses with three students in front of a backdrop with the NHD logo at the NHD National Competition.  All three students wear medals, and they and their teacher are wearing NHD Massachusetts T-shirts.

On behalf of NHD in Massachusetts, we thank you for the time and effort you have put into preparing your students thus far.  Without dedicated teachers and advisors, the NHD program would not be successful.  

VIRTUAL STATE-WIDE CONTEST

In order to guarantee a reliable and safe contest schedule during the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 National History Day in Massachusetts contest season again will be structured as a state-wide virtual contest. The contest will take place in two rounds, with time for students to revise projects between each round. See details below for the structure of this year's virtual contest. Please read the following instructions carefully and contact us with any questions at nhd@masshist.org.

We understand that this year students and teachers are facing a variety of unusual barriers to participating in NHD, and our aim is to be as flexible and accomodating as possible.  If you or your students are struggling with any aspect of this competition, please email us and we will work with you to find an alternative.

REGISTRATION

Read our 2021 NHD MA Teacher Registration Instructions.docx for detailed instructions on how to register as a teacher for the contest. This guide also includes instructions for registration if your school is paying your students' registration fees. Make sure to register before your students do, as they will need to select your name in the registration system in order to sign up.

JUDGING FOR OUR VIRTUAL CONTEST:

In order to run this state contest, we need over 200 judges!  We are asking all of our NHD teachers to volunteer to judge one or more categories in our virtual contest.  We understand that not all teachers will have the time to volunteer, but if you do, we can definitely use your help. We will make sure that you are not assigned to your own students. The bulk of this judging will take place between Friday, March 19 and Sunday, March 21, and we will offer PDPs to all volunteers.  

This year, our registration portal is also where we will be doing judging. Unfortunately, this means that teachers who want to judge will need two separate log-ins, one for each role. If you are a teacher who is planning to judge, you only need to register as a teacher. DO NOT REGISTER AS A JUDGE. When registering as a teacher, please indicate when prompted that you are interested in judging. NHD staff will handle your judge registration and will send you your judge log-in information separately.

REGISTRATION FEES:

This year's virtual contest, which combines our traditional Regional and State Contests, will have a fee of $10/student.  If your school is covering these fees, our 2021 NHD MA Teacher Registration Instructions.docx contains instructions on how to do so. 

If the registration fee is a hardship for any of your students, we will waive it. Ask your students to fill out this form and we will email them a coupon code to cover 100% of the fee. 

HOW THE VIRTUAL CONTEST WILL WORK:

This contest will involve all NHD in MA students from across the state, so it will be structured somewhat differently from our usual contests. Since we have so many projects competing, we will be modeling this contest after Nationals, which consists of two rounds of judging. Student projects will be judged in groups of 8-12 projects at a time. These groups will be assigned at random in each category. 

Registration closes on Wednesday, February 24, but students can edit their profile and upload project materials until the Round One lockout date on Wednesday, March 10. All project materials must be uploaded by 11:59pm on this date. Important: students need to hit save after uploading project materials or making any changes to their profile.  Please review our Virtual Project Guidelines page for detailed instructions on virtual project templates.

Due to concerns over student privacy and equitable access, we will not be holding student interviews during the 2021 competition (see below for more detail).  Instead, like last year our teams of judges will review all of student project materials independently.  

On Monday, March 29, we will announce the top projects in each judging room that will move on to Round Two of the contest. At this point, all students (and their teachers) will receive their judging feedback forms, and student finalists will have the opportunity to attend feedback sessions (dates TBA) and revise their projects before resubmitting their project materials for Round Two.  This year, teachers will be able to view all of their students' feedback forms through this registration portal.

The lockout date for Round Two is Wednesday, April 7. Students must upload and save any project revisions to their registration profile by this date. 

At our Virtual Winners Ceremony on Monday, April 26, we will announce the winning projects that are advancing to Nationals. We will also announce special prize winners.  Even if a student's project did not move on to Round Two, they are still eligible for a special prize.

For more information on the NHD in Massachusetts 2021 Virtual History Day competition, visit the Contest Info page on our website or email us at nhd@masshist.org.

STUDENT INTERVIEW CANCELLATION

After consulting with NHD Nationals and other affiliate coordinators, we have concluded that we will not be able to hold virtual interviews for our 2021 virtual competition.  Initially, NHD Massachusetts had planned to include virtual interviews as part of this year's contest.  However, concerns about equitable access to internet and videoconferencing technology for judges and students soon emerged, and it became clear that there would be risks to student privacy and data to contend with when managing interviews on this scale.  After consulting with the National office, we were advised to eliminate virtual interviews this year. 

This may be disappointing news, and we fully understand, as the interviews are one of our favorite parts of NHD!  However, the interview does not figure into evaluations or serve as a deciding factor in final rankings.  We look forward to holding in-person contests in the future when we can reinstate this part of the program.

Instead of interviews, we urge students to pay particular attention this year to the process paper, and to consider it a space to share information with judges about the research process and what students have learned.  Consider: What would students really love for a judge to know about you and your project?  Why is this topic important to them, and what have they learned this year?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this change, feel free to email us at nhd@masshist.org!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

  • How do I know if my students have finished their registration correctly?  You can use your teacher profile to view each of your students. If there is a "thumbs up" symbol next to their name, they have logged in and answered their permissions questions.
  • How do I know if my students have uploaded their materials correctly?  You can use your teacher profile to view each of your students. Check the "Written Materials," "NHDWebCentral Site Key," and "Documentary/Performance Video" sections in their profile to make sure that they have uploaded the appropriate materials for their project category.  If you see that they have uploaded their materials, you can click on the links to make sure their materials open correctly.
  • How should my students create their virtual projects?  You can find Virtual Project Guidelines and templates for virtual exhibits and performances on our website.
  • My students are having trouble uploading their project materials: You can upload your students' materials to their profiles for them if you need to. You can also contact us, as we may be able to help you to upload the files; if not, we will ask the students to email their files directly to us.
  • One of my students missed a deadline: If your student missed a deadline, failed to upload their project materials correctly, or is dealing with a similar issue, email us at nhd@masshist.org.  Unless they are drastically late, we can usually get them sorted!

Have a question that isn't answered here?  Our website has a lot of information about this year's contest, and you can email us at nhd@masshist.org if you don't find the answer there!  Please encourage your students to email us with questions as well, we are happy to help!

 

Welcome NHD Judges!A student gestures toward an exhibit board, presenting their project to three adult judges.

Thank you so much for volunteering to be an NHD judge! Judging is key to the success of National History Day in Massachusetts, and your work is critical to the students' experience.

To learn more about National History Day in Massachusetts, please visit our website at http://www.masshist.org/masshistoryday. We look forward to celebrating history with you!

VIRTUAL STATE-WIDE CONTEST

In order to guarantee a reliable and safe contest schedule during the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 National History Day in Massachusetts contest season again will be structured as a state-wide virtual contest. The contest will take place in two rounds, with time for students to revise projects between each round. If you have any questions, you can contact us at nhd@masshist.org.

REGISTRATION

This year, judging for our virtual competition has gotten an upgrade! You will use this website to register as a judge, access student project materials, complete and submit your evaluation forms, and communicate with your fellow judges. Please read our 2021 NHD MA Judge Registration Instructions.docx on how to register as a judge using this site. 

TEACHER JUDGES:

If you are an NHD Massachusetts teacher who has students competing this year, DO NOT REGISTER ON THIS SITE AS A JUDGE--we will do it for you! One of the tricks of using this portal to judge is that teachers need an account for judging and an account for teaching, so to eliminate any confusion, we will set it up on your behalf.

Simply register on this site as a Teacher and indicate during registration that you want to be a judge, and we will set up your Judge account for you and send you the log-in info.  If you have any questions, let us know!

HOW THE VIRTUAL CONTEST WILL WORK:

This contest will involve all NHD students from across the state, so it will be structured somewhat differently from our usual contests. Since we have so many projects competing, we will be modeling this contest after Nationals, which consists of two rounds of judging.  Student projects will be judged in groups of 8-12 projects at a time. These groups will be assigned at random in each category. 

After student registration closes on Wednesday, February 24, you will be assigned to a judging team.  A Team Captain (an experienced NHD judge) will be named for each team.  The Team Captain will be responsible for ensuring that the group finds a time to meet to discuss your projects, and will be responsible for submitting the rankings and special prize nominations to us.  Don't worry, the process is very simple and we will show you how to do so during trainings!

After student project materials have been submitted on March 10th, we will share project materials with you through this registration portal.  Due to student privacy and equity concerns, we will not be holding virtual student interviews this year.  Instead, you will review student project materials independently and then meet with your judge teammates at the time of your choosing between Wednesday, March 17 and Sunday, March 21 to discuss your scoring and rankings.  All Round One rankings and feedback forms are due by 11:59 PM on Sunday, March 21.

After students get their feedback forms returned, the finalists will have the chance to revise their projects before Round Two.  Round Two of judging will take place from Wednesday, April 14 to Sunday, April 18, when a small cohort of judges will evaluate the top projects from each judging room in Round One and select the top two projects in each category to advance to Nationals. As with Round One, you will schedule a time to meet with your fellow judges and decide rankings at a time convenient to you.  All Round Two rankings and feedback forms are due by 11:59 on Sunday, April 18.

Lastly, our Virtual Winners Ceremony will take place on Monday, April 26, where we will announce the Category Winners heading to the National NHD competition, as well as winners of special prizes.  We hope you can join us!

NEW NHD RULE BOOK AND EVALUATION FORMS

This year, our judging evaluation forms feature a brand new rubric.  We will introduce the new rubric at our judging orientation webinar (date TBA) and send out more info in advance of the contest.  In the meantime, you can learn more about our new judging process by exploring the following links:

Think you're ready? Test your knowledge with our Judges Quiz!

NOTE ON STUDENT INTERVIEW CANCELLATION

As many of you know, our traditional NHD judging experience includes interviews with student competitors where they present their projects to judges.  After consulting with NHD Nationals and other affiliate coordinators, we have concluded that we will not be able to hold virtual interviews for our 2021 virtual competition.  Initially, NHD Massachusetts had planned to include virtual interviews as part of this year's contest.  However, concerns about equitable access to internet and videoconferencing technology for judges and students soon emerged, and it became clear that there would be risks to student privacy and data to contend with when managing interviews on this scale.  After consulting with the National office, we were advised to eliminate virtual interviews this year. 

This may be disappointing news, and we fully understand, as the interviews are one of our favorite parts of NHD!  However, the interview does not figure into evaluations or serve as a deciding factor in final rankings.  We look forward to holding in-person contests in the future when we can reinstate this part of the program.

Instead of interviews, students are being urged to pay particular attention this year to the process paper, and to consider it a space to share information with judges about the research process and what students have learned.  


For more information and resources, visit the Judges page of our NHD Massachusetts website.  Email us at nhd@masshist.org with any questions.

 

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