Hawai‘i History Day Call for Judges

HONOLULU—Do you love history? Want to be part of a fun and rewarding experience supporting dynamic historical projects created by students? Then we are looking for you!

Hawai‘i History Day, an exciting educational program that encourages students in grades 4-12 to engage in real historical research, needs people who are interested in sharing their passion for learning with vibrant, aspiring young minds to judge at upcoming district and state History Day fairs this year.

We urge humanities scholars, librarians, museum educators as well as others with expertise or interest in historical interpretations to help students learn and grow through the program by providing valuable and insightful feedback as a volunteer judge.

Every year Hawai‘i History Day, the state affiliate of National History Day (NHD), touches the lives of thousands of students, teachers and parents by making the past come alive in public, private, Hawaiian immersion and home schools across the state. The key to the program’s success in supporting history education in Hawai‘i is due in large part to the dedication of hundreds of volunteers who serve not only as judges but also as mentors to History Day students.

History Day judges evaluate the work of young researchers exploring historical topics related to an annual theme. This year the National History Day theme is “Taking a Stand in History.” Starting in late February, students across the state will present their findings in a category format of their choice–paper, exhibit, performance, documentary or website.

Judges work in teams; new/first-time judges are often paired with a more experienced judge. They review student entries following guidelines established by the NHD, give students written, constructive feedback, and select which projects advance from the district to the state and national events.

The time commitment as a volunteer judge at district and state events varies depending on the category of project being evaluated. Exhibits, performances and documentaries are judged on contest day; historical paper and website projects are reviewed prior to contest day, with just the student interview occurring on contest day.

On contest day, judges arrive at their assigned location about an hour before judging begins for a brief orientation and instructional session. The first round of judging takes place from about 9 a.m. to noon. Run-off judging, which includes only judges who have signed on for the task ahead of time, typically takes an additional hour.

Evaluating History Day projects is fun and rewarding for anyone interested in nurturing the academic and leadership skills of Hawai‘i’s youths. Volunteer as a judge and meet enthusiastic young people with a strong interest in history as well as build connections with other community members.

Learn more about becoming a judge for Hawai‘i History Day here.

Volunteer judges can sign up online here.