Download the National History Day Rule Book.
- Students are expected to conduct themselves, in person and online, in a manner that brings credit to themselves and their schools.
- Treat other competitors with respect at all times.
- All students must be accompanied by a chaperone while at the contest. Chaperones are responsible for the behavior of the students in their charge.
- Pack out everything you pack in, including trash and contest supplies. Do not leave exhibits or performance props behind. Clean up your messes.
What is Utah History Day?
Utah History Day is Utah’s official National History Day affiliate. Formerly called Utah History Fair, this program has operated continuously in Utah since 1980. Last year, more than 5,000 Utah students in 4th through 12th grade participated in History Day, learning how to conduct real historical research and then create a final project that showcases their work. Students present their projects in a series of contests beginning at the school or district level and advancing through regional and state competitions. Utah’s top entries qualify to compete at the National History Day competition in Washington, D.C., each June.
History Day brings history to life for students as they discover the past by choosing a topic from local, national, or world history, conducting their own research, and drawing reasoned conclusions based on historical evidence. Students who participate in History Day do much more than memorize facts from a textbook, they develop their abilities in reading, writing, critical thinking, and creative presentation. History Day builds a host of college and career ready skills while inspiring students to strive for excellence.
Can I participate if my school does not? YES! Students may complete a project and enter their local regional competition on their own. No teacher sponsor is necessary to compete as an independent student.
Who can participate? Any Utah student in grades 4-12. Utah History Day is open to children who attend public, private, parochial, charter, online, or home schools.
What does it cost? It’s FREE! There is no registration fee for regional or state competitions in Utah.
Contest Day Information
8:00-9:00 Student Check In & Exhibit Setup
9:00-1:00 Judging (first + final rounds)
2:-3:00 Exhibit room open house
3:00-4:00 Awards Ceremony
* This schedule is subject to change.
First Round Information
All entries will be judged during the first round of competition, which runs from 9:00-12:00 (for most categories). Students should be at their judging location at least 15 minutes prior to their scheduled time. All students are interviewed by the judges during the first round.
In categories with more than 10 entries, morning judges will select the top entries to advance to the final round, which is held from 1-2.
Final Round Information
There are no interviews in the final round. Therefore, only those students competing in the Performance or Documentary categories are required to attend the final round, should they qualify. Finalists in these categories will be posted at 12:30. Bring extra copies of your process paper and annotated bibliography to give to the second round judges.
Finalists in the Exhibit, Paper, and Website categories are not posted. Results are announced for all categories at the Awards Ceremony.
Lunch is not provided for contestants. There are many restaurants nearby. Or you are welcome to bring a lunch and eat in the Commons (food/drinks are not allowed in classrooms).
There will be down time during the day, especially in the afternoon. Bring board games, school work, books, movies, or video games.
NHD Judging Criteria
Historical Quality: 60%
· Historical Accuracy
· Historical Context
· Shows Analysis & Interpretation
· Uses available primary sources
· Wide Research
· Balanced Research
Relation to Theme: 20%
· Clearly relates topic to theme
· Demonsrates significance of topic in history and draws conclusions
Clarity of Presentation: 20%
· Project and written materials are original, clear, appropriate, organized, and articulate
· Project is organized; visual impact is appropriate to topic