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Tuesday through Saturday10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202
Indiana Experience Admission Free IHS MembersFree Children under 5$9 Adult$8 Seniors 60 and older$5 Youth ages 5 through 17 Free parking with admission in lot off New York.

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Canal level map of the History CenterFirst level map of the History CenterSecond level map of the History CenterFourth level map of the History Center

Frequently asked questions

Have questions about National History Day in Indiana?  Check out these frequently asked questions.  If you have further questions, email nhdi@indianahistory.org.

For Parents

How can I help my child with NHDI?
Parents play a vital role in supporting their child through the National History Day in Indiana process. While they can provide support, parents must remember that the project must be the child’s own work. Parents can help brainstorm potential topics for the project by asking questions or bringing up stories that their student may find interesting. Additionally, parents can help their child navigate beyond the Internet into exploring libraries and asking librarians for assistance. For the final project, the participant should create something that is completely their own; however, parents can provide helpful advice and assistance with potentially dangerous parts of constructing the project. For contest preparation, parents can provide a great amount of help by practicing potential interview questions with the learner and helping them prepare for the contest. Finally, parents can help the student look back on the experience and reflect upon what they have learned and how they have grown from the experience.

When and where are the contests?
The information regarding when and where regional, state and national contests are can be found  here.

How much does it cost to be involved?
The cost can be broken into three main categories: registration fees, project costs and travel expenses. The registration fee is $10 per student involved in the project and competing at the regional contest. If the participant advances to the state contest, there is no registration cost. For the national contest, there is a separate fee paid to the National History Day offices. Many NHDI students choose to fundraise to help offset the cost. Additionally, each project has its own costs associated with the physical materials (costumes, boards, printing, photocopying, etc.).  Finally, there may be a cost associated with travel needed to go to research institutions and to different contests.

Where can I buy an exhibit board?
You can get an exhibit board online. If you prefer to make your own or buy from another source, check the NHD rulebook to ensure the board fits the requirements.

Who is responsible for turning in registration forms and/or paying fees? Students/parents or teachers?
Educators are responsible for filling out a project information spreadsheet for each contest their students attend. This spreadsheet will be attached to the online registration. After the registration closes for each regional contest, the educator will receive an invoice addressed to their school.

How can I help out at contests?
You can help out by volunteering or judging. NHDI requires hundreds of volunteers to help with everything from checking students in to monitoring exhibits to judging the projects. Sign up to judge or volunteer here.

Can I watch my child’s interview?
Parents may watch all interviews, except those for exhibits.

How does advancing projects work from Regional to State and State to Nationals?
While the number of entrants in a regional contest determines how many students advance to the state contest, usually about a third from each category go on.  The top two projects from each Junior and Senior categories advance from the state contest to nationals. The runners-up in each category serve as alternates if the first or second place medalist cannot attend.

My child cannot attend their regional contest, what options do we have?
While students are encouraged to present their project at their own regional contest, projects only require one of the learners in the group to attend a contest and represent the project. Projects can also be accommodated by using early and late judging during the window of judging – usually between 9 a.m. and noon. If all learners in the group have legitimate scheduling conflicts, they may present their project at an alternative regional contest. Legitimate scheduling conflicts are a scheduled ACT or SAT test, another academic, athletic or extra-curricular school-based activity.

What special prizes are available this year?
A list of the special prizes and the requirements to qualify for one can be found on the Special Prizes page.

How can I sponsor a special prize?
The state contest provides the opportunity for students to receive special awards sponsored by people and organizations from around the state. The requirements for the award may be broad or narrow. They may be specified for a specific category, grade level, social issue or specific topic. For more information about becoming a sponsor, email erawlinson@indianahistory.org or call (317) 233-0588.

For Educators

Where should new teachers begin?
Visit our Educator Resources page for resources and ideas about incorporating NHDI into your curriculum. For more information, contact Bethany Hrachovec at nhdi@indianahistory.org.

Why should my students participate in contests?
Participating in contests is optional, but it allows learners to receive encouragement and constructive feedback from professionals in related fields. Participating in the contests also provides them with public recognition and community interaction that can motivate and engage. The evaluation provided also reinforces classroom instruction.

Who should I contact to participate?
Contact affiliate coordinator Bethany Hrachovec at nhdi@indianahistory.org.

Will you visit my classroom?
An NHDI team member would be happy to visit your classroom. We tailor our visits to the goals you have. We can discuss NHDI, the annual theme, research help, developing a thesis statement, project consultation and more!  Email nhdi@indianahistory.org to discuss how the NHDI team can help.

Who picks the annual theme?
The annual theme is chosen by the national office. The themes are carefully selected to provide broad application across all times and areas of history.

When and where are the contests?
The information regarding when and where regional, state and national contests are can be found on the Contests page.

Who is responsible for turning in registration forms and/or paying fees?
Educators are responsible for filling out a project information spreadsheet for each contest their students attend. This spreadsheet will be attached to the online registration. After registration closes for each regional contest, the educator will receive an invoice addressed to their school.

When are my students’ registration forms due?
A: The deadlines for each contest are listed with the date and paper submission deadlines on the contests page.

Can I watch my students’ interviews?
Teachers are allowed to watch the interview for any project, except for exhibits.

How does advancing projects work from regional to state and state to nationals?
While the number of entrants in a regional contest determines how many students advance to the state contest, usually about a third from each category advance to the state contest. The top two projects from each Junior and Senior categories advance from the state contest to nationals. The runners-up in each category serve as alternates if the first or second place medalist cannot attend.

How can I help out at contests?
You can help out by volunteering or judging. NHDI requires hundreds of volunteers to help with everything from checking students in to monitoring exhibits to judging the projects. Sign up to judge or volunteer here.

Can I earn PGP points for judging?
Yes! If you volunteer to judge at a NHDI contest, you are eligible for PGP points through the Indiana Historical Society. Sign up to judge.

My student(s) cannot attend their regional contest, what options do we have?
While students are encouraged to present their project at their own regional contest, projects only require one member per group to attend a contest and represent the project. Projects can also be accommodated by using early and late judging during the window of judging – usually between 9 a.m. and noon. If all of the students in the group have legitimate scheduling conflicts, they may present their project at an alternative regional contest. Legitimate scheduling conflicts are a scheduled ACT or SAT test, another academic, athletic, or extra-curricular school-based activity.

What special prizes are available this year?
A list of the special prizes and the requirements to qualify for one can be found on the Special Prizes page.

My learners were interviewed for the local news. How can I share their story?
We love to hear about how students are engaging with their communities! Email nhdi@indianahistory.org to share their story.

We have a school showcase/contest. Would you like to come?
Yes! Contact Bethany Hrachovec at nhdi@indianahistory.org to provide the date and time for your school’s showcase or contest.

For Students

Who picks the annual theme?
The annual theme is chosen by the national office. The themes are carefully selected to provide broad application across all times and areas of history.

What does a good project look like? Where can I see some examples?
While each good project will look different, they all include quality research and clear presentation. You can find examples from Indiana here or examples from around the country here.

Can I pick any topic in history?
Project topics can come from any time period, place and historical topic. While you can pick any time, it is a good idea to pick a topic that is at least 20 years old. A more recent topic will be harder to make a case for the long-term impact of the topic. It must also have a clear connection to the theme. More information about the annual theme can be found here.

How important is research to NHDI?
Research is very important. Judges will be looking at your bibliography to see if you have both primary and secondary sources cited, a variety of source types, and have looked at different opinions and points of view on the issue.

How many sources should I have?
While we do not require a certain number, check with your teacher to see if they have a minimum number. In general, the best option is to keep researching until you have answered all of your questions. Research can be continued almost infinitely and more sources can always be found.

Where can I buy an exhibit board?
You can get an exhibit board online. If you prefer to make your own or buy from another source, check the NHD rulebook to ensure the board fits the requirements.

What documentary software should I use?
There is no rule about what software you should use, so you may use whatever software you would like. The most commonly used software are iMovie and Windows MovieMaker, but some participants use more advanced software. You can always check with your teacher about what software is available through your school.

Why do I have to use the NHD website editor to make a website?
The rulebook states that students must use the NHD website editor for their website. This allows participants to access certain features free, allows judges to review the websites before the contest, and also means that others cannot search for your website. Be sure to follow these steps to ensure you are using the NHD version of Weebly.

How creative can I be with my final project?
You can be as creative as you want! However, remember to follow the guidelines and rules outlined by NHD. Each project will be evaluated by the same judging criteria, so the research and analysis should be evident no matter how the project is presented.

Can I use an online citation generator to make my bibliography?
You can use an online citation generator, such as NoodleTools or BibMe, to help you create your bibliography. Check with your teacher to see if your school has a subscription to one of these citation generators.

We are stuck!  Can someone look at our project?
Yes! It is beneficial to have an advisor, teacher or parent look over your project.  Feel free to send it to us at nhdi@indianahistory.org for review.

I’m having problems working with my partner or group. What should I do?
Teamwork and communication are important elements of working as a group. Talk to your teacher to work on negotiating conflict, dividing the work and ensuring that everyone is contributing to the project.

How will my project be judged?
Your project will be judged based on three general criteria: historical quality, relation to the theme and clarity of presentation.

  • Historical quality accounts for 60% of the evaluation. Historical quality deals with the historical accuracy, interpretation and analysis of data, understanding of the historical context, broadness of research, balanced presentation of material, and use of primary sources.
  • Relation to the theme consists of 20% of the evaluation and depends on how well the project tieintoto the NHD theme.
  • The last 20% of the evaluation comes from clarity of presentation and takes the organization, careful proofreading, and creativity of the project into account.

Specific details related to evaluation can be found in the NHD rulebook. In all cases, the judge’s decision is final.

Should I prepare a formal presentation for the judges?
No, the judges will review your project and paperwork, and then interview you about it. The NHD rulebook, in fact, says that you may not present a formal introduction, narration or conclusion, but should allow the judges to guide the interview through their questions.

What types of questions will I be asked in the interview?
You can be asked a variety of questions about your motivation for creating this project and how it connects to the theme.  Some potential interview questions can be found here under the preparing for contest day section.

Can I edit my project between contests?
Yes! After a contest, students are encouraged to use the judging feedback to improve their project. Advisors and parents may also provide feedback that can be helpful. In the end, the project is yours. You can decide what to change or not change.

What should I bring to the regional and state contests?
Bring your project, props, costumes and any other things related to the project. Additionally, bring four copies of your process paper and bibliography. Students in the website category do not have to bring copies of their paper and bibliography since these materials should be included on their website.

When is my registration due?
The deadlines for each contest are listed with the data and paper submission deadlines on the Contests page.

What is there to do at the regional contests?
After your judging time, you have free time until the awards ceremony. Bring something to keep you occupied, such as homework, a book or games. You can also use this time to support your classmates by watching performances, documentaries or exploring other projects.

How does final round judging work at the state contest?
In the preliminary round, projects are grouped into “judging groups.” If there is more than one judging group at the state contest, we will take the top entries in each preliminary judging group for a final round. A new set of judges will examine the final round projects and rank them. In the final round judging, there is no interview. Students are not present for papers, websites or exhibits.  Participants must be present for performances and documentary judging. Names of those required for final round performances and documentary judging will be posted near registration around 30 minutes before the start of the final round.

How does advancing projects work from regional to state and state to national?
While the number of entrants in a regional contest determines how many learners will advance to the state contest, usually about a third from each category go on to the state contest. The top two projects from each Junior and Senior categories advance from the state contest to nationals. The runners-up in each category server as alternates if the first or second place medalist cannot attend.

What special prizes are available this year?
A list of special prizes and the requirements to qualify for one can be found on the Special Prizes page.

How can I nominate my project for a special prize?
When your teacher registers you for the state contest, they will nominate you for any special prizes that your project may qualify for.

What if my school doesn’t participate in NHDI?
You can still participate, even if your school does not participate in NHDI.  Students who are interested should find a project advisor. The advisor will then register you for a contest.

We have a school showcase/contest. Would you like to come?
Yes! Contact Bethany Hrachovec at nhdi@indianahistory.org to provide the date and time for your school’s showcase or contest.

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