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National History Day in Massachusetts

Virtual Project Guidelines

As of February 3rd, our NHD MA 2022 Regionals will take place virtually (see our Contest Info page for more details). We are hopeful that our State competition will still take place in person. Regardless of whether a contest is in person or virtual, all students must submit virtual versions of their projects for judges to review in advance.

NOTE: For performances and exhibits, in the event of an in-person contest students will submit a recording of their performance or images of their exhibit, but they will present their physical exhibit boards and perform for judges in person!

See the following instructions for each NHD project category, and email your MA State Coordinators with any questions.

Virtual Performance Guidelines

When submitting a video for an individual or group performance, remember, this is the performance category. Treat the recording as if it is a live performance. Please consult the updated NHD Contest Rule Book for performance rules. Performance rules still apply whether you perform on-site or at a virtual contest.

You will need to submit:

  • A URL (that anyone with the link can view) to your recorded performance video
  • Title page, annotated bibliography and process paper

When submitting a video for an individual or group performance, please follow the criteria below:

  • Performances can be filmed on a camera, phone, or using an online conferencing platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams (these are only recommendations). If in a group performance, you should follow all social distancing guidelines and preventative actions that apply in your school, county, or the state. 
  • In the individual and group performance recordings, please only use backgrounds and props that you would intentionally have or bring for a live performance at an on-site contest. Digital effects are not permitted unless they could be done during a live performance. Most contest settings for performances will have a plain wall or curtain. For your performance, use a plain background or one that you create instead of recording your performance in front of a decorated room in your home or a green screen to which you can add images later. Those settings would not be possible at an on-site contest.
  • Any audio recordings, music, or media should be present in the recording as a part of the performance. Audio cannot be added in later.
  • It is not necessary to record the 5 minutes of set-up/break-down allotted for your performance.
  • Performances should be recorded in one take regardless of recording platform.  Editing of any kind is not permitted. Do not edit multiple clips together or edit in digital effects or audio.
  • Once recorded, upload the .MP4 file of your performance to Google Drive, One Drive, DropBox, or a private YouTube channel and save the URL.  Please make sure that your link is shareable (set to "Anyone can view" or similar). It is your responsibility to ensure that your link to your performance is shareable. 

To prepare your paperwork, combine all of your required paperwork (title page, process paper, and annotated bibliography) into a single PDF file. (Free apps for this include Adobe Online and I Love PDF.) The final PDF document order must be: title page, process paper, annotated bibliography.   Please see this video to learn how to combine your PDF documents into one PDF file.

When you are ready to submit your project, follow instructions in the contest registration portal for how to upload the link to your video and the PDF of your paperwork materials to your student registration profile.

Virtual Exhibit Guidelines

This year, we will ask all students in the exhibit category to do the following:

  1. Create a physical exhibit board to show to judges at an in-person contest (on a poster board, etc.)
  2. Create a virtual version of your exhibit to submit in advance by the contest lockout date

To create your virtual version of your exhibit, please follow these steps:

Step 1: Create a set of slides that include the following:

  • a full photo of your exhibit, and
  • photographed sections of your exhibit with accompanying text.

You may use either of two template options to submit your exhibit. These options provide you with slides to insert photos and text from your exhibit. You may not add additional slides. Further details can be found on the first page of either slide template.

Click here to view a sample project submitted through one of these templates.

*PLEASE NOTE: School email accounts may restrict your access to these Google Slide and Google Drawings templates. If you experience these issues, please try accessing the template from a different account.

Step 2: Prepare to submit your slides and required paperwork:

  • Export/download your completed exhibit template as a PDF.
  • To prepare your paperwork, combine all of your required paperwork (title page, process paper, and annotated bibliography) into a single PDF file. (Free apps for this include Adobe Online and I Love PDF.) The final PDF document order must be: title page, process paper, annotated bibliography, exhibit template.
    • Please see this example for the correct order.
    • Please see this video to learn how to combine your PDF documents into one PDF file.

Step 3: Follow the instructions in the contest registration portal to submit your project.

Virtual Documentary Guidelines

You will create your documentary following the usual NHD guidelines in the NHD Contest Rule Book.

Once recorded, upload the .MP4 file of your performance to Google Drive, One Drive, DropBox, or a private YouTube channel and save the URL.  Please make sure that your link is shareable (set to "Anyone can view" or similar). It is your responsibility to ensure that your link to your performance is shareable. 

To prepare your paperwork, combine all of your required paperwork (title page, process paper, and annotated bibliography) into a single PDF file. (Free apps for this include Adobe Online and I Love PDF.) The final PDF document order must be: title page, process paper, annotated bibliography.   Please see this video to learn how to combine your PDF documents into one PDF file. 

When you are ready to submit your project, follow instructions in the contest registration portal for how to upload the link to your video and the PDF of your paperwork materials to your student profile.

Virtual Paper Guidelines

Paper submission is identical to NHD project submission for an in-person contest.  When you are ready to submit your project, follow instructions in your registration portal.

Virtual Website Guidelines

Website submission is identical to NHD project submission for an in-person contest.  When you are ready to submit your project, follow instructions in your contest registration portal.

IMPORTANT UPDATE
 
Over the past few years NHD Nationals has made significant changes to the NHDWebCentral website builder, improving its usability and providing videos, FAQs, and detailed guides for how to build a website using their platform. However, we know that many students who are unfamiliar with the platform still find it challenging, and we do not want the website builder to be a barrier for participation.
 
To make NHD as accessible as possible, we have decided that for the 2022 regional and state contests, we will accept NHD websites created on alternative platforms such as Google or Microsoft, as long as students use their school account to do so. We will then offer assistance to any students heading to Nationals who need to move their website to NHDWebCentral, which is the only platform accepted at Nationals.
 
If you choose to use an alternative website builder, please follow these mandatory guidelines:
  • Students MUST use a school account to build their website. This is for privacy and security concerns. Independent website builders not associated with your school will not be accepted at the NHD MA competitions.
  • Students must have permission from their teacher to use an alternative website builder. We will be asking teachers to confirm that websites made from alternative website builders have been created using a school account.
  • Students must be able to make the website accessible to anyone with a link, so that judges can view the project
  •  These alternative website builders will ONLY be accepted at Massachusetts competitions. If a student advances to Nationals, they must be prepared to recreate their website in NHDWebCentral before the National lockout date if they wish to compete. We will offer assistance to help students with this.

If you have any questions about student websites, please email us at nhd@masshist.org