MISHAWAKA — The Indiana Historical Society is offering a front-row seat as local students break barriers in history. IHS is looking for volunteers to serve as judges for the 2020 National History Day in Indiana contests, including a regional contest on Saturday, Feb. 22, at John Young Middle School in Mishawaka.
NHDI is a yearlong program in which students in grades 4 through 12 pick a historical topic, research it and create a project in the form of a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance or website. This year’s theme is “Breaking Barriers in History.”
At regional contests, judges work in teams to interview students about their project, give feedback, and ultimately, rank winners. Regional winners advance to the state contest, where the top two entries from each junior and senior category become eligible to compete in June at the National Contest for National History Day.
No experience is necessary to serve as a judge. In fact, a variety of perspectives and backgrounds gives students a well-rounded experience, according to Bethany Hrachovec, IHS director of education and engagement.
“By judging, you’re helping young people learn that their voices matter and that their hard work is recognized,” Hrachovec said. “The students get so much out of it, but I find that the judges get the most out of it, as they leave inspired by what Hoosier students are doing every day.”
Volunteer time commitment is about 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the day of the contest. Judges are also needed at NHDI regional contests in Franklin (Feb. 29), Carmel (March 7), Evansville (March 13) and Hanover (March 14).
In addition, IHS is seeking judges for the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) District Contest (March 18-19), which takes place at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in downtown Indianapolis, and the state competition, which will be held at the History Center and the State of Indiana Government Center (April 25).
NHDI is presented by The Richard W. and Irene Rooker Family Foundation, with support from the Vigran Family Foundation. To register as a judge, visit the Volunteer Page on IHS’s website or call (317) 232-1882.
2020 National History Day in Indiana Contest Schedule
Northeast Region Contest: Ivy Tech Community College, Fort Wayne Coliseum Campus in Fort Wayne, Saturday, Feb. 15.
Northwest Region Contest: John Young Middle School in Mishawaka, Saturday, Feb. 22.
South Region Contest: Franklin College in Franklin, Saturday, Feb. 29.
Central Region Contest: Carmel High School Freshman Center in Carmel, Saturday, March 7.
Southwest Region Contest: University of Evansville in Evansville, Friday, March 13.
Southeast Region Contest: Hanover College in Hanover, Saturday, March 14.
Indianapolis Public Schools District Contest: Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in Indianapolis, Wednesday, March 18, and Thursday, March 19.
National History Day in Indiana State Contest: Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center/State of Indiana Government Center in Indianapolis, Saturday, April 25.
National Contest for National History Day: University of Maryland in College Park, Md., June 14-18