Important Dates & Times

Monday January 06, 2020 at 5:00 AM
Tuesday February 18, 2020 at 6:00 PM
Saturday March 14, 2020 at 7:00 AM
Sunday March 15, 2020 at 2:00 PM
Saturday March 14, 2020 at 8:00 AM

Contest Rules

To download a copy of the NHD Rule Book, please click HERE.


About NHD Pittsburgh

National History Day encourages students in grades 6-12 to conduct rigorous historic research and to defend their final product in front of a panel of judges.

This project-based learning model empowers students to select their own topics related to a central theme and to produce a historic paper, website, documentary, live performance, or exhibit board. Students learn to identify and evaluate primary and secondary sources, to move beyond descriptive narratives of events to analysis of events, and to write annotated bibliographies.

The Heinz History Center is the host for this region's National History Day competition, and also supports educators in guiding their students through the NHD process. To learn more about the support we offer to both new and veteran NHD teachers, please visit our website at


What to Expect on Competition Day

  • Schedule: Judging Times and Locations – Students will receive a schedule before the NHD Pittsburgh competition, which will provide them with their assigned entry number, interview time, and judging location.
  • Arrival: We ask that all exhibits enter the History Center through the double doors at the side of the building next to the bus pull off under the yellow goal posts. All other categories should enter through the main doors of the museum facing Smallman Street.  
  • Registration Check-in:
    • Students do not need tickets; they only need to check-in with their entry number (found in the schedule document).
    • For Saturday's competition (Junior Division) we will be changing our registration procedure. History Center staff will send more information about this in early March. 
    • For Sunday's competition (Senior Division), student registration will be from 8:00 a.m. to 8:45a.m. 
    • All exhibits must be in place by 8:00 a.m. on Saturday and 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, regardless of their registration and judging time
    • Students will check-in and receive a complimentary NHD t-shirt at registration. These shirts are only provided at the time of registration.
  • Guest Admission:  Each registered student receives 2 free admissions to the History Center. When students check in at registration they will be provided with 2 admission stickers for the people accompanying them to the competition. Any additional visitors will need to pay regular museum admission at the Admissions Desk.
  • Encore Presentations: Due to closed judging, students are encouraged to share their work during Encore Presentations. There are a limited number of spots available and students must sign-up by 9:00 a.m.  Sign-up sheets are located at the Encore spaces.
    • Performances: TBD
    • Documentaries: TBD
    • Exhibits: Students wishing to share their exhibit may leave it in place.  Exhibit halls will be open to the public following the conclusion of judging deliberations.
    • Websites: TBD
  • Awards Ceremony: The awards ceremonies are planned to begin around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Refreshments: Coffee will be available for purchase in the morning by 7:15 a.m. at the History Center Café, located in the Great Hall. The Café also has a selection of beverages, sandwiches, and refreshments that will be available for purchase during the competition day. Additional options for lunch are Jimmy John’s, at the back of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Penn Ave., Subway on Penn Ave., and various restaurants in the Strip District.
  • Parking: Parents and other guests may visit the History Center website for information on directions and parking, available at
  • Technology: The History Center provides a laptop and television monitor for documentary and website category judging. Students may bring their own laptops, but are not required to for competition. If you plan to use a student computer that is a Mac, students must provide their own HDMI adaptor.
  • Student Items Required for Competition:

Entry Category

Items Required


1 copy each of bibliography and paper


1 copy of documentary on a DVD-R, CD-R, or Flash Drive

4 copies of the process paper

4 copies of the bibliography


Know the entry number for the exhibit – this will be used to place your exhibit

The exhibit itself, any multimedia device you use (i.e., a laptop, MP3 player)

4 copies of the process paper

4 copies of the bibliography


4 copies of the process paper

4 copies of the bibliography

Any props/costume pieces and A/V that may be needed


4 copies of the process paper

4 copies of the bibliography

You may want to bring your website on a CD-R, but you are not obligated to


If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Thank you for all of your efforts in preparing for the regional competition - we can't wait to see the work being presented!



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

Judging Criteria

Information about judging criteria can be found on the NHD website by clicking HERE.

If you have any questions about judging criteria or becoming an NHD judge, please contact us at 



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