Why judge History Day?

Judging is a fantastic way to connect with students, support your community, and learn about history. Be a part of Minnesota students’ successes as they learn and grow through History Day. Why?

  • Community involvement
  • Get Continuing Education Clock Hours
  • Learn something new
  • Thank you gift
  • Help the youth of Minnesota

Expectations of History Day judging  |      Judge training  |     Contest materials

Remote video URL

Sign-up to judge!

Sign-up for 2024 contests here!

Have questions?

Read the general judge FAQ.

We're counting on you! By submitting a judge registration, you agree with the expectations of History Day judges and are committing to participating.

Expectations of History Day judges

As a judge, History Day events are rewarding experiences. The History Day program, students, and teachers will rely on you as a critical part of the educational process. Here is what you can expect at a History Day event, as well as what the program expects of you as a judge.  
As a judge, you will:

  • Sign up in advance on the website.
  • Attend a judge orientation the day of the event.
  • Work with a judge team of two or three to review projects and interview students.
  • Select the strongest projects to advance to the next level of competition.
  • Provide written feedback about each project you view.

As a judge, you are responsible to:

  • Arrive on time to all events for which you sign up and stay until the judging process is completed.
  • Let us know as soon as possible if your schedule changes and you are unable to judge.
  • Remember the age of your audience. Some students are as young as 6th grade and may be nervous to discuss their work.  Ask questions which prompt students to provide information, and be patient if they are shy or anxious.
  • Pay careful attention so you can evaluate well. Students have worked for months on their projects and are looking forward to this opportunity to share their work.
  • Judges should avoid distractions such as personal phone calls, texts, etc. during the event.  Judges may not bring minor children that they need to supervise to the event.
  • Alert History Day staff to any conflicts of interest, including students you know personally or schools with which you have close relationships.
  • Set aside personal bias for or against topics. Judge each project based on the merits of the information that the student presents.
  • Let the History Day staff know right away if there are problems. We are here to help!

We appreciate your time and will do our best to make this experience rewarding for everyone involved!

Judge training

All judges will be asked to participate in a training session upon signing up to judge. The training sessions will provide an overview of judging changes for the upcoming year:

  • Rubric-Based Judging: All National History Day contests will be using a new rubric-based document to evaluate student projects.
  • Judging Through zFairs: zFairs is History Day’s online contest management system. Judges will work through this system to register, review projects, submit rankings, and return project feedback.

Judge training materials can be found here. We ask judges to signup for one Zoom-led training prior to judging for the first time in 2024. Judge training signup will be available in early February for the following dates:

  • Tuesday, February 13, 6-7 pm: For judges that are NEW to History Day
  • Tuesday, February 13, 7:15-8 pm: For judges that are EXPERIENCED with judging History Day
  • Thursday, February 15, 3-4 pm: For judges that are NEW to History Day
  • Thursday, February 15, 4:15-5 pm: For judges that are EXPERIENCED with judging History Day
  • Thursday, April 4, 6:30-7:30 pm: For judges that are signed up for State History Day but have not judged in 2024

Judging contest materials

Questions about judging? Find out how to prepare and read the FAQ