Important Dates & Times

Wednesday January 08, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Tuesday February 18, 2020 at 11:59 PM
Saturday February 29, 2020 at 7:30 AM
Saturday February 29, 2020 at 4:00 PM
Saturday February 29, 2020 at 9:00 AM

For more about this year's theme and rules for each category, visit National History Day's main site..  

Please note that all participants--students, teachers, volunteers, judges, and staff--are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that brings credit to themselves, their schools, and the affiliates they represent.  National History Day is concerned for the safety and well-being of the students and asks that all guests observe the rules established by Fairfax County Public Schools regarding conduct on school property.  

Please remember that judges will not discuss rankings and that during judging only judges should address students.  Any concerns should be brought immediately to the judges' table to the right of registration.

Setup Needed...

About Page

Tell about this contest (history, purpose, benifits, etc)

Location: The Contest takes place at Mount Vernon High School, 8515 Old Mount Vernon Road, Alexandria, VA 22309. When facing the front of the school (where the flag poles are), the entrance for the contest is on the left side of the building by the spirit rock. There is a large parking lot along that side of the school and cars can pull up to the entrance to unload if needed. Additional parking is available on the street and at Riverside Elementary School across the street as well.  

What to wear: Unless in a performance, dress professionaly, but do not wear items with school logos or names. Remember, as per judging rules, only performances can wear a costume. 

Arrival: Please don’t cut your arrival too close to your judging time!  Judging times do not get rescheduled if you miss your time. Check in opens at 7:30 a.m. Exhibits must check in and complete setting up before 9 a.m. (unless have received permission otherwise in advance). All other categories should arrive no later than 15 minutes prior to their judging time.

What to Bring: Except for the paper category, students need 3 copies of the process paper and annotated bibliography per project (all categories except papers and websites).  We have no more than 3 judges per judging team. 

Notes for specific categories:

  • Websites and documentaries should not bring any technical equipment—it is all provided by the school.  No outside laptops will be allowed to connect to the projection system. 

  • Documentaries can practice pulling up their vidoe in the judging room between 8:30 and 9am.

  • Documentaries should upload their videos to google drive if possible, otherwise bring a copy on CD and/or thumb drive that will be left with the judges Only thumb drives labeled with a mailing address will be returned. 

  • Performances are welcome to store their props in the room where they will be performing.   

What to Expect During Judging: While judges will be asking some simple questions (Example: What was your best source?  What was most challenging about your research?  Why did you choose this topic?), students should not come with a prepared presentation.  They won’t be asked anything they can’t answer after doing all the work for the project. 

The Day's Schedule:

7:30 a.m. registration opens

9:00 a.m.  all categories begin judging

1:00 p.m.  most categories are done judging

2:30 p.m. exhibit hall opens for guests to browse and students to begin breaking down

3:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony, done by 4

What can you do during the day?  Check out the other entries!  The documentary and performance rooms are marked and you are welcome to sit in and observe.  We just ask observers to wait until the door is opened between entries to come or go, silence cell phones, and remember that only judges are allowed to speak with the students being judged. 

 Mount Vernon Estates has a limited number of free tickets (first come first serve—pick up when you check in) and it’s only a few minute drive from the high school, so feel free to head over between your judging time and the awards ceremony.  It is about a 30 minute drive to Old Town, Alexandria. Heads-up--Saturday is the St. Patrick's Day parade from 12:30-2:30 p.m. which means park on the south side of town.    

The school cafeteria will be open as a hang out area and there will be food for sale on site (coffee and donuts in the morning and pizza and soda at lunch)—cash only!  There are also plenty of places on route 1 just around the corner to go to for lunch if you wanted to get out. 

When will the students receive their comment sheets?  We do our best to sort the comment sheets so they are ready for pick-up after the awards ceremony. Only teachers are allowed to pick up the comment sheets.  If you aren’t at the awards ceremony, which begins at 3 and ends at 4, then I will mail the comment sheets to you that week. 




Group Documentary
Group Exhibit
Group Performance
Group Website
Individual Documentary
Individual Exhibit
Individual Performance
Individual Website

Historical%u200B %u200BQuality%u200B %u200B(60%)
Historical accuracy
Historical context
Analysis and interpretation
Use of available primary sources
Wide research
Balanced research

Relation%u200B %u200Bto%u200B %u200BTheme%u200B %u200B(20%)
Clearly relates to theme
Demonstrates significance of topic in history and draws conclusions

Clarity%u200B %u200Bof%u200B %u200BPresentation%u200B %u200B(20%)
Presentation, written materials are original, clear, appropriate, organized and articulate
Entry is organized; visual impact is appropriate to topic



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