Important Dates & Times

Monday January 20, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Friday February 21, 2020 at 11:59 PM
Friday March 27, 2020 at 8:00 AM
Friday March 27, 2020 at 4:00 PM
Friday March 27, 2020 at 8:00 AM
Friday March 27, 2020 at 1:00 PM

IUP’s Regional Competition - FAQs:
What are the Dates?
-March 27, 2020: Date of Event (judging starts at 9am and the awards ceremony ends 2:30)
-Mach 16, 2020:   Submission due date for Paper and Website Categories. Other categories 
do not need to be submitted prior to event.
-Feb 28, 2020:       Late Registration (additional fees will be assessed)
-Feb 14, 2020:       Registration Deadline for Regional Competition (Forms & Fees)


What is the Cost?
Registration costs are $20 per student participating in the event. This will give them access to a 15/20 minute judging session of their entry, a lunch at IUP’s cafeteria, and a participation ribbon. Winners will also receive a medal and a gift. 
While school districts typically cover the registration costs, feel free to contact me about other funding ideas/possibilities - especially for newcomers to the program.

What is this year’s theme?
This year’s theme is Breaking Barriers in History. NHD has a theme sheet here: 

What forms do these entries take?
Students can choose from 5 different types of entries: Exhibits, Papers, Performances, Documentaries, and Websites. Papers have to be individually created while the other 4 categories can be either individual or group (up to 5 students) entries. 

How many students can attend from a single school?
History Day allows 3 entries per category for each school. This means that, theoretically, each school could bring as many as 15 students for individual entries (3 students  for each of the 5 different entry types) and up to 60 students for the group entries (of 5 students each) in the four categories that allow groups (Exhibits, Performances, Documentaries, and Websites). 
In reality, it rarely works out to be that many participants since students prefer to work in smaller groups and/or avoid certain entry types.

Where can I register?
Registration begins January 20 with the sponsors registering first and then the students registering and linking their accounts to the teacher. 

Where do the students go if they win?
The 2020 National History Day in Pennsylvania State Contest will take place on Friday, May 15, and Saturday, May 16, 2020, at Carlisle High School, 623 W Penn St., Carlisle, PA.

What’s the timetable for all this?
Many students start their research in the Fall before the actual competitions. However, the typical course of action seems to be for students to hone in on a potential topic by Winter break with research kicking into high gear in January and the development of the project happening in February and some fine-tuning in March.

For further Rules and Regulations, please refer to the NHD rule book

contest rule book.png


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 Natural Sciences.

Each year a broad theme is selected for the National History Day contest and students will present their findings at the Regional NHD contest here at IUP and will be judged by professional educators and historians. The top entries will move on to your state's NHD contest and, after that, the national contest at the University of Maryland at College Park in June.

project sample.jpg

As Regional History Day, Region 4, our district covers Armstrong, Indiana, Jefferson, Clearfield, Cambria, Elk, and parts of Westmoreland County. If yours school is located in these counties, please check out the information on this contest website and our national website, . For further information on how to bring this great program to your school, please contact me directly. 



Werner D. Lippert, Ph.D.

NHD Regional Coordinator Region 4 or via phone (724) 427-5577

On the day of the competition, we allow visitors to view the exhibits before judging from 8:30-9:00 and after judging is complete (typically from 1:30-2:00pm).

Please watch for our "Last Minute Highlights" once registration has closed.




Group Documentary
Group Exhibit
Group Performance
Group Website
Individual Documentary
Individual Exhibit
Individual Performance
Individual Website

Judges will judge the entries based on the following criteria

60% Historical Quality

This is by far the most important factor in judging an entry. It refers to the research, analysis, and interpretation of the topic. The entry should be historically accurate. It should not simply recount facts but interpret and analyze them; that is, the entry should have a strong thesis or argument. In addition, it should place the topic into historical context—the intel- lectual, physical, social, and cultural setting. The entry should also reflect historical perspective–the causes and consequences of an event, for example, or the relationship of a local topic to larger events. The best entries will use a variety of both primary and secondary sources and will consider multiple viewpoints (e.g., those who suffered as well as those who benefited, males and females, people from different racial or ethnic or socioeconomic groups, as appropriate to the topic).

20% Relation to the Theme

The entry must clearly relate to the annual theme and demonstrate why the topic is significant in history. Do not confuse fame with significance. Local history topics may not be well known but may represent larger trends or events. The entry should draw conclusions about the topic’s significance. In other words, the entry should answer the questions, “So what? Why was this important?” It should not be just descriptive.

20% Clarity of Presentation

This relates to the entry’s production quality. You also should consider whether the written materials–the process paper and the bibliography–are clear, organized, and well done. The idea here is students achieve both superior production quality and superior historical quality.




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