Judges & Volunteers
The Heart of Texas Regional History Fair depends on judges and volunteers to make the fair an educational and rewarding event. If you are an historian, educator, or are simply interested in history and education, you can serve as a judge for the Heart of Texas Regional History Fair.
Judging at the Heart of Texas Regional History Fair is an excellent way to support community education. Most people hear "National History Day" and are unaware of the interdisciplinary nature of this competition. You do not have to be a historian to be involved! HOTRHF is looking for judges with interest/experience in a variety of fields in addition to history, such as English, film and digital media, mathematics, art history, communication, education, and more!
Judging for the 2024 Heart of Texas Regional History Fair will be on February 16, 2024. All categories will now be pre-judged and judging will be conducted through the online registration system. We look forward to seeing you at the history fair!
To register, please follow the instructions listed below.
Judges are asked to sign up for judging through the online registration system.
For additional detail on the sign-up system, please view the video below.
NOTE: The dates on the video are from 2021 but the registration process has not changed.
Click Create Account and choose Judge from the drop-down menu
Fill in your first and last name along with your email address; click Next
Fill in the personal information; click Save & Continue. (Please note your username and password as you will need them to login to judge entries.)
Enter Judge’s Preferences and Conflict of Interest; click Next
If you are unable to judge a specific category or entry due to conflict of interest, please note it in the comment section.
Agree to Permissions and Waivers
If you are unable to register through our online system, please email the history fair coordinator.
Judges are able to change their judge preferences through the My Profile feature under the Judge drop down menu.
How does the judging process work?
Each entry is judged within its division and category (e.g., Junior Group Exhibit, Senior Paper) by at least one team of judges. Sometimes there are too many entries in a specific division and category to be judged by one team of judges in a reasonable amount of time. Multiple first-round judging teams followed by a final round then become necessary. In such cases, the entries judged best by each team of first-round judges are re-evaluated by a new team of judges to determine the winning entries in the category. The number of entries in finals and procedures for judging vary by contest and category and are within the discretion of the Contest Coordinator.
Instead of assigning a numerical score to each entry, judges work together to rank the entries in their group after fully evaluating all of the entries and discussing the strengths and areas for improvement of each entry based on the evaluation criteria.
All projects must be connected to the NHD annual theme. Additionally, all projects must adhere to general and category specific rules set out in the NHD Contest Rule Book. Any rule infraction will be taken into consideration in the final rankings. Projects are judged on the overall following criteria:
- Historical Accuracy (80%)
- Relation to Theme (20%)
The subjective nature of judging
Judges must evaluate certain aspects of entries that are objective (e.g., whether primary sources are used or whether the written material is grammatically correct and accurately spelled). Judges also must evaluate aspects of entries that are subjective (e.g., analysis and conclusions about the historical data). The HOTRHF recognizes there is an inherent subjective nature to judging.
The decision of the judges is final
Judges alone will determine each entry’s ranking and whether a project advances to the next level of competition. The decision of the judges is final.
Conflict of interest
All judges agree to let the Heart of Texas Regional History Fair coordinator know if a conflict of interest exists in judging a student, or category with several students, in which they have mentored a participant, personally know a participant or have previously judged a participant this year.
All judges, both new and experienced, must view judge orientation sessions. All judge orientations will be pre-recorded and made available to judges prior to judging. Orientation will cover the judging process, the annual theme, necessary rules, and evaluation sheets. Question and answer sessions will be scheduled at a later date to address any questions judges may have regarding the new rules and evaluation sheets.
Volunteers are needed in a variety of positions, such as timekeepers, monitors, or setup crew. To volunteer, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up and share your time with the students of Central Texas.
Greet visitors, students, and teachers as they arrive and direct them to correct locations.
Mark registration sheets as students check in. Hand out name tags, programs, coupons, and other material as needed.
3rd Floor Monitoring
Insure safe and proper behavior of students on stairway and third floor. Report problems as necessary to appropriate staff members.
Project Area Monitoring
Walk through competition areas to insure safe and respectful behavior.
Give directions, answer questions and help locate specific people as requested. This job requires familiarity with the building and schedule of activities (maps and schedules will be provided).
Timing and Monitoring
Timers use a stopwatch to time performance and documentary projects in accordance with National History Day rules. Monitors control the flow of participants and spectators in and out of the four presentation rooms. Judging of performances and documentaries depends heavily upon timers and monitors. Volunteers for these jobs must make a firm commitment to serve.
Setting up tables for exhibit displays, placing signs, ensuring the general cleanliness of each area at the end of the day, and assisting in moving history fair paraphernalia from the BDSC to storage in Carroll Library. (Note: to volunteer in this capacity, it is necessary to be able to lift at least 25 lbs comfortably.)
You can join us as a volunteer for just an hour or for as long as you have time. You may set your volunteer schedule to your convenience. We hope to see you at the fair!