Welcome to the NHD in PA Region 4 at IUP

Important Dates & Times



National History Day    in PA - Region 4

(Armstrong, Indiana, Jefferson, Clearfield, Cambria, Elk & Westmoreland Counties)


National History Day started as a small contest in Cleveland in 1974 and has grown to a nation-wide educational program that allows thousands of middle and high school students to participate in an exciting way to study history and learn about issues, ideas, people, and events.  Through NHD students will learn the skills and techniques of the historian and discover new insights that they express through creative and original performances, documentaries, websites, papers, or three-dimensional exhibits.  With its regional, state, and national levels of competition, it’s reasonable to see History Day being the Social Studies equivalent of what Science Fair is to the Sciences.

Regional Competition Date:  March 27, 2020 

This year's theme: Breaking Barriers in History

Location:  VIRTUAL (please see instructions below)

Deadlines: Submit Paper and Website Entries by March 16, 2020, 8am

Video Interviews, Performances, Documentaries, and Exhibits by March 25, 2020, 8am

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With some regrets, we are moving Region 4's History Day competition online. While there is no replacement for the ‘real’ thing, our History Day Team and our judges here at IUP will try to make the online experience as authentic as we can. We seek to maintain an interview process, albeit a pre-arranged video recording, continue to provide extensive judging feedback for each entry, and create a virtual awards presentation. Virtual or not, we strive to offer every student a positive experience that will inspire them to continue their passion for historical research and higher education. Please find below information on how to upload your project for judging:

There will be three parts that will have to be uploaded for by each student:

1. Title Page/Process Paper/Annotated Bibliography: 
The contest registration has two new fields for each student. Below is a screenshot of a student registration account with both of these features enabled. 
Students will have to upload their Title Page/Process Paper/Annotated Bibliography in the Entry’s Paper field as one PDF file. Multiple file uploads cannot be accepted by the system.
a)    Files can be merged/converted online at www.smallpdf.com
b)    The Title Page should include an image/screenshot that best resembles each entry as well as an image of the participating students. We will publicize the winning entries in a slideshow after the contest and will use the first page of this pdf in there.
c)    Please name the file “Entry Paper [your entry’s title]” and upload it (one per group).
d)    If your Contest Category is Paper, please attach the actual entry to the file, as well. No Process Paper required for Paper categories.

2. Video Interview:
Each student will also have to complete a 5 minute video discussion/interview based on the questions listed below. Students would video-record themselves (as a group, if applicable) in one un-edited recording session, answering each of the judging questions. 
This interview file should be uploaded as mp4 and the link entered in “Entry Video URL”
a)    Files can be converted online at https://video.online-convert.com/convert-to-mp4
b)    If your Contest Category is Documentary or Performance, please merge your Documentary/Performance video file and the interview file (in that order) into one file. (https://www.onlineconverter.com/merge-video)
c)    Please name the file “Interview [your entry’s title]” 
d)    Upload the video to Google Drive or Youtube (please watch privacy settings) and provide the link at the “Entry Video URL”

3. Entry:

Paper: Your paper should be uploaded along with the Bibliography in one pdf file. (see step 1). The PDF with the Paper entry is due March 16. The Interview video is due March 25, 8am. 

Website: Your website site key should be entered no later than March 16. The Interview video is due March 25, 8am. 

Exhibit: Students can have up to 10 pictures (jpg) with at least one showing the entire board. Enter them in ONE Word file by inserting 1 jpg per page. This should be followed by any text blocs that are on the board. Any media used should be stored in a separate file (mp4). Attach the Word file to the Title Page/Process Paper/Annotated Bibliography (Step 1) and any media file to your interview file (entry media, then interview) as explained in Step 2. Step 1,2, and 3 are all due March 25, 8am.

Performance: The entire performance needs to be recorded in one take. Video may not show any signs of editing and is followed by the Interview (uploaded as per step 2). Step 1,2, and 3 are all due March 25, 8am. 

Documentary: The entire documentary followed by the Interview must be uploaded as per step 2. Step 1,2, and 3 are all due March 25, 8am. 

Interview Questions:

• What was your most important source and why?
• What is the most important point you are trying to convey about your topic?
• What is the most important thing you learned from completing this entry?
• Why did you pick this topic?
• If a group, what did each member of your group contribute? How did you decide who would do what?
• How did your primary sources help you understand this topic? (know difference between primary & secondary)
• What were the most important factors which caused ____ (the event in question) to occur?
• What were the most important consequences of this ____ (event/person’s actions)?
• Why is this topic significant? Relevant to the theme?

FAQs: (Posted as we receive them) - Please direct any questions you have at lippert@iup.edu

Q1: My school will be announcing today that they are closing for the next 2 weeks. What will the plan be in the event we are closed from no until end of March? 
A1: We specifically designed the virtual requirements so that the students could complete them without the teacher, simply by videotaping themselves with a laptop. All the conversion resources are online, and students will have to log on into their own registration profile to upload these items. Of course, it would be nice for the students to, say, have the exhibit in the background and referencing it, but a proper video backdrop does not factor into the judges’ evaluation. The only thing that would have to happen while they school is still in session is either video-taping the interview as a group or video-taping a group performance entry.

Q2: For the exhibit. Up to 10 photos AND the text blocks from the project?   In other words, it will be more than 10 photos to include all of the text blocks?
A2: Correct. Please use a page break for each image so that you have the same number of pages in your document as you have images. Enlarge each image so it fills the entire page. This way, you can make sure it is legible. 

Q3. For the exhibit. Can the text blocks also be jpg images?  I don't want them to have to retype things on a new document.
A3: Yes. As long as the images are clearly legible, there is no need to re-type them.

Q4: For the exhibit. Does text block include all picture captions?
A4: No. It is my assumption that within the 10 images available, each picture on the exhibit would find its way into some close-up that allows the judges to properly view it. In these photos, the captions ought to be readable as well. 

Q5: What if students do not have access to video taping technology and/or cannot tape themselves for the Interview Questions?
A5: In light of the circumstances, we will also accept typed responses. Your answers should be no longer than 2 pages and be attached to the Title Page/Process Paper/Annotated Bibliography in pdf format (step 1).












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Things to consider:

  • You will need to have primary sources to support your entry. Locate them before formulating your argument.
  • Start with the historical research and decide what type of entry best fits your research afterwards.
  • All entry types (other than papers) can be done as an individual or as a group of up to 5 students.
  • Please don't create an account on this site until Registration opens on January 20, 2020.  
  • Your topic title and entry type will have to be decided on by the Registration Deadline but you can keep working on your actual entry for much longer. Paper and Websites are pre-judged and have to be submitted early. All other entries can be worked on until the date of the contest
    • %u200B%u200B%u200B%u200B%u200B%u200B%u200BRegistration Deadline: Feb 14, 2020
    • Late Registration Deadline: Feb 28, 2020
    • Submission due date for Paper and Website Categories: March 16, 2020
    • Regional Competition: March 27, 2020



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Next Steps:

  • Consider including NHD in your school’s curriculum – either as an in-class assignment, gifted program, or simply as extracurricular activity.

  • Contact your coordinator (lippert@iup.edu) to provide you with information necessary to implement this program in your classroom / school. You will gain access to Region 4's Edmodo Classroom where teachers exchange tips and tricks on how to implement History Day in the classroom.

  • Registration Opening:  January 20, 2020 

    • Teachers may register right away and must register before allowing students to register
    • Students should not sign up/register before registration opens
    • For group projects, one student must create the project, then share the project key with the other group members so they can link to that project during registration.
  • Registration Deadline:  February 14, 2020

  • Late Registration Deadline ($10 late fee per person):  February 28, 2020

  • Paper Mailing Deadline:  March 16, 2020 (Papers must be uploaded AND mailed)

  • Website Lockout Date:  March 16, 2020

  • Regional Event: March 27, 2020 at IUP


More Arguments from Educators:

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Judging History Day

At our regional contest we ask our IUP faculty, Social Studies Educators, and other expert volunteers to serve on the judging teams that evaluate each entry. We realize that the 15-20 minute judging process is the highlight for each student. Below is a brief video that highlights the judge's responsiblities. At this point, we do not use the electronic registration system for judges' assignments.

If you are interested in serving as a judge, please contact Dr. Sharon Franklin-Rahkonen via email at franklin@iup.edu




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