Important Dates & Times

Monday December 02, 2019 at 6:00 AM
Monday February 10, 2020 at 9:00 PM
Saturday March 07, 2020 at 8:00 AM
Saturday March 07, 2020 at 4:30 PM
Saturday March 07, 2020 at 9:00 AM

To download a copy of the NHD Rule Book, click HERE.


Student Conduct:  Students are expected to conduct themselves, both in person and online, in a manner that brings credit to themselves and their schools. Chaperones are responsible for the behavior of the students in their charge.


Please remember that National History Day is concerned not only for the safety and well-being of students, but also for upholding the wishes of parents, teachers, school principals, and the many supporters who have a vested interest in the students' participation.


As guests of Anacortes Middle School, you are expected to abide by the same rules the school has established for its students. To ensure that your stay is pleasant and trouble-free, you must observe the following rules: You may not physically harm, threaten to harm, or harass any person, including provoking and/or engaging in physical fights or malicious pranks. Alcoholic beverages or other drugs are expressly prohibited except those prescribed by a doctor. Possession of any weapons, firecrackers, or other flammable materials is prohibited. You may not tamper with the fire system or fire safety equipment. You may not set or fuel a fire of any size.


You are responsible for complying with the requests of all chaperones and school officials, including cooperating in cases where you are aware of rules being broken by other students.

Northwest Region History Day Contest

About the Contest

National History Day is a fun event that encourages students to become historians by developing research, analysis, presentation and social skills. Working individually or in groups, junior (grades 6-8) and senior (9-12) division students select a topic related to an annual theme. They conduct extensive historical research using primary sources, articles, and books, then distill their research and analysis into a dramatic performance, multimedia documentary, museum exhibit, website, or research paper.

National History Day and its state affiliate Washington History Day provide leading-edge training and curriculum materials to help educators meet and exceed education standards. Annual workshops help educators learn how to adopt National History Day in their classrooms, while also offering strategies that make history education interesting, exciting and fun for students.

Students may choose to compete in the regional contest held in March, entering their project against others in the same division and category. Regional winners advance to the Washington History Day state contest, held in late April or early May.  The Northwest Region History Day Contest serves the Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom counties.

Students who finish in first and second place at State in each category go on to the National contest, held in mid-June at the University of Maryland in College Park.


Northwest History Day Contest

Where and when is the contest?

The contest is held on Saturday, 7 March 2020, at Anacortes Middle School, 2200 M Avenue, Anacortes, WA 98221.  There is plenty of on-site parking.  Students may arrive at 8:00 am in order to set up their exhibits or test their ability to connect to classroom projection equipment.  They must be done by 8:45.  Judging starts at 9:00.  Each individual or group project will have an assigned time to present their project.  The schedule will be available to teachers.

 What should we expect on the day of the contest?

Students should plan to bring homework or card and board games to occupy their time while they wait for their presentation time.  Students will gather at tables in the center area of the main hall.  Teachers will sign in at the registration table just inside the main entrance.

All students doing exhibits, documentaries and performances will have an interview with a panel of judges.  It is important that each group or individual presenter bring at least six copies of the process paper and annotated bibliography (3 for preliminary round and 3 for finals if they proceed.)  Title page, process paper and bibliography should be stapled together to form one packet.  Students should be prepared to introduce themselves and hand their paperwork to the judges. When asked, students should be prepared to talk about their research topic, its relationship to the theme, its historical significance, what they have learned from doing their NHD project, and address any other questions the judges may have. 

Students who wrote a paper or created a website submitted their work ahead of time, and do not need to bring any paperwork with them.  They also will not have an interview with judges.  Rather, they will be asked to report to the paper or website room that afternoon where they will have an opportunity of up to ten minutes per entry to discuss their work in a moderated seminar.  Other students and parents may listen to the discussion.

What should parents and students do while they wait for their assigned presentation?

After students have found their assigned rooms and set up their exhibits or tested their equipment, they must wait for their presentation time.  Students and parents may wait in the main floor hallway (bring games or homework to fill the time).  Better yet, students should attend other students’ performances and documentaries.  Being an audience member for other students’ projects is the best activity you can do to support your peers in the process.  Just remember to follow the protocol:  only enter a judging room between presentations (wait for the applause to signal this, or wait for the room monitor to open the door).  Please note that parents and supporters may not observe the interview or judging process of exhibits but there will be an open viewing time for the exhibit hall.

Also, please note that the library is OFF LIMITS to students, parents and teachers.  It is the judging room, and the judges need privacy to discuss projects and provide feedback.

Can we leave during the day?

Students need to be chaperoned by their parent or their teacher throughout the contest day, which will run from 8 am to 4:00 pm.   Students should check with their teacher about permission to leave campus.  If that permission is granted, then students may leave with a chaperone for lunch or other activities as necessary.  Students who progress from preliminary to finals in Documentary and Performance will need to be on campus to be notified.

Is lunch available on-site?

Students are welcome to bring a sack lunch.  There are many eating establishments a few blocks to the east on Commercial Avenue in Anacortes.

When is the state contest?

The date and place of the state contest has not yet been announced, but I expect it will be held Saturday, April 25th, at Central Washington University.  Wait for the official announcement before confirming plans to travel.

What if I have more questions?

Please talk to your child’s teacher if you have more questions about the contest.  You may also contact Randy Schnabel, the contest coordinator.


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

Northwest History Day Contest

Judging Criteria

If you have questions about the judging process, please feel free to view judging process as outlined in this slideshow. The NHD Contest Rulebook guides students, teachers, judges and contest organizers.  See Contest Rules HERE.  Judging rubrics and interpretations are based on it. 

Historical Quality (60%)

  • Historical accuracy
  • Historical context
  • Analysis and interpretation
  • Use of available primary sources
  • Wide research
  • Balanced research

Relation to Theme (20%)

  • Clearly relates to theme
  • Demonstrates significance of topic in history and draws conclusions

Clarity of Presentation (20%)

  • Presentation, written materials are original, clear, appropriate, organized and articulate
  • Entry is organized; visual impact is appropriate to topic

You will have an opportunity to express your preferences for which categories you are willing to judge.  Here are the instructions for each of the contest categories.  For any category for which you are selected to judge, please download and print the instructions.

     - Documentary

     - Exhibit

     - Paper

     - Performance

     - Website

Let us know if you have any questions:  Randy Schnabel.

Again, thank you so much for being willing to judge at the contest!




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