Contest Information

Contest Information

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Students register for Virginia History Day

At its core, Virginia History Day is a historical research project. Students select a topic in history they are interested in and relate it to a yearly theme. There are no limits on topics; local, state, national, and world history are all welcome. Students then conduct primary and secondary source research and present their findings in one of five presentation categories: Paper, Exhibit, Documentary, Performance, or Website. Students may then enter their projects into History Day competitions at the district, state, and national levels. 


Eligibility 

All Virginia students in grades 4-12 are eligible to participate in VHD. This includes public, private, and home schools. We welcome students to participate even if their school does not. For any eligibility questions, please reach out to the Sam Florer, VHD State Coordinator


Costs 

All VHD program material and administrative support is provided for free, regardless if students enter a VHD contest. Most contests have nominal registration fees, ranging from $5 to $25. There may be additional project material and  travel costs to consider depending on individual circumstances. However, we do not want costs to be a barrier for anyone to participate, so please reach out to the Sam Florer, VHD State Coordinator with any financial concerns. 


2023 NHD Theme 

The 2023 NHD theme is Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas. Every student must make a connection between this theme and their topic. The themes that are chosen are broad, allowing students to research topics on all levels from local history to ancient history. In order to draw a connection to the theme, students must understand the historical significance of their topic and answer questions about time, place, and context. Understanding the impact and significance of the topic will help define why the topic is important and draw this connection to the theme. 

For additional information about this year’s theme, check out NHD’s website for additional resources


Age Divisions and Project Categories 

When entering contests, students compete against their peers. The three age divisions are: 

  • Elementary - Grades 4 and 5 
  • Junior - Grades 6-8 
  • Senior - Grades 9-12 

In the Junior and Senior Divisions, students may compete in one of nine categories, either as an individual or in a group of up to 5 students. Elementary Division students may only compete in the Exhibit category as either an individual or a group. For more information about each category, click here

  • Individual Documentary 
  • Group Documentary
  • ​Individual Exhibit
  • Group Exhibit
  • Individual Performance
  • Group Performance
  • Group Websites
  • Individual Website
  • Paper (individuals only) 


District Contests 

Students interested in competing must first enter their local district contest. Details will be on the registration form for each district. To register, click on the name of your district in the table below. Make sure to register by the deadline and submit all signature forms and payment to the appropriate District Coordinator. Finalists from each district will advance to the VHD State Contest. 

District 

Counties/Cities 

2023 Dates 

Contact 

District 1 

Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Buckingham, Campbell, Cumberland, Lynchburg

    • Registration Deadline - Tuesday, March 14
    • Project Submission Deadline - Monday, March 20
    • Contest Day - Saturday, March 25

R. Matthew Poteat, Assistant Professor of History, Central Virginia Community College - poteatr@cvcc.vccs.edu  

District 2 

Bland, Bristol, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Galax, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Norton, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, Wythe

    • Registration Deadline - Monday, March 20
    • Project Submission Deadline - Monday, March 27
    • Contest Day - Saturday, April 1

Sam Florer, VHD Coordinator, Virginia Museum of History and Culture, (804) 342-9672, sflorer@virginiahistory.org

District 3 

Alleghany, Botetourt, Covington, Craig, Danville, Floyd, Franklin, Henry, Martinsville, Montgomery, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Pulaski, Radford, Roanoke City, Roanoke, Salem

  •  Registration Deadline - Monday, March 6
  • Project Submission Deadline - Monday, March 13
  • Contest Day - Friday, March 17 

Ann Roberts and Kristan Morrison, Associate Professors, Radford University - aroberts@radford.edu and kmorrison12@radford.edu 

District 4 

Albemarle, Augusta, Bath, Buena Vista, Charlottesville, Clarke, Culpeper, Frederick, Greene, Harrisonburg, Highland, Lexington, Madison, Nelson, Orange, Page, Rappahannock, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah, Staunton, Warren, Waynesboro, Winchester

  • Registration Deadline - Monday, February 20
  • Project Submission Deadline - Thursday, March 2
  • Contest Day - Thursday, March 9 

Krystal Gladden, Manager of School Programs, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello - kgladden@monticello.org 

District 5 

Alexandria, Arlington, Caroline, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fauquier, Fredericksburg, King George, Lancaster, Loudoun, Manassas Park, Manassas, Northumberland, Prince William, Richmond (County), Spotsylvania, Stafford, Westmoreland

    • Registration Deadline - Tuesday, February 21 
    • Project Submission Deadline - Thursday, February 23
    • Contest Day - Saturday, March 4 

Michele Longo, Curator of Education, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum & Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum - Michele.longo@alexandriava.gov 

District 6 

Accomack, Chesapeake, Franklin City, Hampton, Isle of Wright, Middlesex, Newport News, Norfolk, Northampton, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Southampton, Suffolk, Surry, Sussex, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, York

    • Registration Deadline - Monday, March 6
    • Project Submission Deadline - Friday, March 10
    • Contest Day - Saturday, March 18

RB Meyer - esr-sar@charter.net 

District 7 

Brunswick, Charlotte, Greensville, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Prince Edward, South Boston

    • Registration Deadline - Monday, February 27
    • Project Submission Deadline - Monday, March 6
    • Contest Day - Saturday, March 11

Cainan Townsend, Director of Education & Public Programs, Robert Russa Moton Museum - education@motonmuseum.org 

District 8 

Amelia, Charles City, Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Dinwiddie, Essex, Fluvanna, Gloucester, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, Hopewell, King and Queen, King William, Louisa, Mathews, New Kent, Petersburg, Powhatan, Prince George, Richmond City

    • Registration Deadline - Monday, March 13
    • Project Submission Deadline - Thursday, March 16
    • Contest Day - Saturday, February 25


Dr. Frank Klackle, Professor of History, Brightpoint Community College -  fklackle@brightpoint.edu

 

State Contest 

Only those students who competed and placed at the district level may register for the VHD State Contest AFTER results have been released from their District Contest. The 2023 State Contest will be held on Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30 at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture in Richmond.

  • Registration Deadline  - Monday, April 17
  • Project Submission Deadline - Thursday, April 20
  • Contest Day, Elementary and Junior Divisions  - Saturday, April 29
  • Contest Day, Senior Division - Sunday, April 30

Additional information can be found on the VHD State Contest website


National Contest 

The top two projects from each category at the State Contest qualify for the NHD National Contest. The National Contest takes place in June at the University of Maryland. Additional information can be found on NHD’s website.


Judges 

Volunteer judges can be anyone that may enjoy working with students, have a love of history, or like to learn new things! The only qualifications are the ability to write meaningful, detailed feedback and be kind to students. We seek volunteer judges at every level of the contest. For more information and to register as a judge, visit the VHD State Contest website