Welcome to the Central West Regional Contest

Important Dates & Times

MHD Logo.jpgWelcome to the Central West Mass History Day Regional Contest!

Massachusetts History Day is the state affiliate of National History Day (NHD), an inter-disciplinary research project for students in grades 6-12 that encourages exploration of local, state, national, and world history.

On this site you can register your school and project, get contest-day information, review project checklists, and find payment information. Still have questions? Contact the Central West Regional Coordinator James Sunderland at james_sunderland@bedfordps.org or State Coordinator Kate Melchior at education@masshist.org.

Virtual Contest Information

 After consulting with colleagues, we have decided to hold a virtual contest for the Central-West region instead of rescheduling the in-person contest. A significant percentage of participants begin a 2-week vacation this Friday, which has made rescheduling difficult. While not ideal, the virtual contest helps us ensure that the competition is as fair as possible for everyone, and also that students have enough time to revise their projects before the state contest on April 6.

Here's how the virtual contest will work: students will submit their project electronically for written evaluation by judges. After the judges have deliberated, we will communicate their feedback to students.  (We will forego the judge interview.)  We will also inform students as to whether they have placed and will advance to the state contest.  Medals, certificates, and other awards will be sent by mail.

 Under the Students Instruction Tab, you'll find instructions on how to submit your project for evaluation by judges. The deadline to submit your project materials is Wednesday, March 13, by 11:59 PM. Please email your materials and any links to mhseducation1791@gmail.com.  Judges will then have a week to complete their evaluations, and students will receive the judges' feedback by Tuesday, March 19th. 

 We will also give websites and papers that qualify for the State contest an extension on the lockout: the new lockout day for the state contest is Monday, April 1st

 Please read through the instructions for your project category in the attached email. Teachers, please go over these instructions with your students and make sure they know what to do next.

Welcome MHD Students!  Here you will find information on how to register for your contest and pay for registration.  For information on the competition day itself, click on the "Contest" link above.  If you have questions about your project, check out the Mass History Day and National History Day websites for more information.  If you still have questions, email James Sunderland at james_sunderland@bedfordps.org for more information.

Instructions for Virtual Project Submission


You have already submitted your project materials. You do not need to submit anything for the virtual contest.


Step 1: Please take photos of your exhibit, including: one photo showing the exhibit in its entirety with a tape measure (to show height); one photo showing the left panel; one photo showing the center panel; and one photo showing the right panel. 

Step 2: Please make sure that all of your graphic images and text are readable in your photos. Feel free to send more photos as needed to ensure visibility/legibility. (Once we have received your submission, we will confirm with you that your images and text are readable.)

Step 3: Please create a PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation. (Please note: the PowerPoint file is simply a vehicle for sending us the photos of the exhibit, as they may be too large to attach to an email. We are not asking students to create a polished PowerPoint presentation.)

Step 4: Insert each photo into a separate slide in the PowerPoint presentation.

Step 5: In the body of an email, please provide the following information:

1. Division: Junior (6-8 grade) or Senior (9-12 grade)

2. Category: Group or Individual

3. School:

4. Teacher:

5. Project Title:

6. Member(s) names:

Step 6: Upload a Word .doc or PDF file of your process paper and bibliography to the email.

Step 7: Send the email to mhseducation1791@gmail.com.


Step 1: Performances: Film your performance

Step 2: Documentaries and Performances: Upload the video to your preferred platform (Private Youtube or Vimeo channel, Google Drive, etc).  See below for instructions on how to use Google.  Make sure that the video can be viewed by anyone with the link.

Using Google Drive:

A: Please save your performance as an .MP4 or .MOV file (please contact us at mhseducation1791@gmail.com or education@masshist.org if this poses a problem).

B: Go to http://www.google.com/drive/ and create or sign into a Google account. (If this poses a problem, please contact us at mhseducation1791@gmail.com).

C: Click on the “New” button, choose “File Upload,” and select the file with your performance. Be sure that you name the file the same name as the title of your project.

D: After upload is complete, be sure the file will play, right click the file, set it for “Public on the Web” in the “Advance” settings, and copy and paste the link into an email.

Step 3: Upload a Word .doc or PDF file of your process paper and bibliography to the email. In the body of the email, please provide the following information:

1. Division: Junior (6-8 grade) or Senior (9-12 grade)

2. Category: Group or Individual Documentary or Performance

3. School:

4. Teacher:

5. Project Title:

6. Member(s) names:

Step 5: Send the email to mhseducation1791@gmail.com.

Registration Fees

Each participating student has a registration fee of $12.*  You can choose to pay online or by check.  The deadline for registration payments is Friday, February 22nd.

IMPORTANT: Check to see whether your school pays for registration fees! 

If the school is paying: DO NOT CHOOSE THE "PAY ONLINE" option. Instead, select the option to "pay by check." This will create an invoice that your school can use to pay your fee.  Once you have selected this option, you are all set!

If the student is paying: You can either pay online with a debit or credit card, or send a check to MHD.  If you are paying by check, selecting this option will create an invoice in your account.  Print off this invoice and mail it along with a check made out to "Massachusetts History Day.  The check should have the student's name in the "Notes" section.  Mail to the following address: 

James Sunderland 
Bedford High School
9 Mudge Way
Bedford, MA 01730


*If MHD registration fees are causing hardship for you and your family, we can help!  Email education@masshist.org and we will talk about how we can help with costs.

Welcome MHD Teachers!  Here you will find information on how to register for the contest, track your student's registrations, and retrieve student invoices if your school is paying for registration fees.  For information on the competition day itself, click on the "Contest" link above.  If you have questions about your project, check out the Mass History Day and National History Day websites for more information.  If you still have questions, email James Sunderland at james_sunderland@bedfordps.org for more information.

Interested in judging at MHD as well?  You can sign up and indicate your judging preferences using our Central West Judging Registration Form.  Teachers will receive 6 PDPs for judging exhibitions, documentaries, and performances, and 10 PDPs for judging websites and papers (which require advance preparation).  

Teacher Registration

Create an Account

In the box on the righthand side of the screen titled "Create an Account," fill in your name and email address and follow prompts to create a teacher account.  Even if you participated in a contest in a previous year, you still need to create a new account for this contest. 

IMPORTANTTeachers need to sign up before students so that students can register under their teacher's name.  This allows teachers to keep track of their students' registrations and, if the school is paying for registration fees, collect student invoices for a Payment Order (see below).

Select Your School

You will be prompted to select your school from a drop-down menu.  If you cannot find your school listed, please contact education@masshist.org and they will add your school to the website. 

Viewing Student Information

When logged in, teachers can click on the "My Students" tab at the top of the webpage.  This will take you to a list of the students who are linked to you in the system.  Note: A teacher’s student will only appear once the student has created their account.

By clicking on the student, teachers can choose to view and edit information, or to link/unlink the student to an entry.

Paying Student Registration Fees

If your school is paying for student registrations, you can do so through your teacher account.

  • Click on the "Store" tab.
  • Click on the "Students" tab, next to the "Order History" tab.
  • All of the students associated with your teacher account will appear on the list.  Check the box next to the student(s) for whom the teacher or school is paying.
  • Add fees to the cart and click the blue "Checkout and Pay" button
  • If the school is paying by check or Purchase Order, select "Generate Invoice." Confirm and print this invoice, and present it to the school to create a purchase order.

Checks should be made out to "Massachusetts History Day."  Mail this invoice along with the check to the following address:

James Sunderland 
Bedford High School
9 Mudge Way
Bedford, MA 01730

Fee Assistance

If MHD registration fees or expenses are causing undue hardship for your school or any of your students, we can help!  Email education@masshist.org to discuss possibilities for MHD support.



Welcome MHD Judges!  Thank you for your interest in judging at the Mass History Day Central West Competition on Saturday, March 2nd 2019.   This contest will take place at Quabbin Regional High School (800 South St, Barre MA 01005).

If you have not yet registered, you can sign up and indicate your judging preferences on our Central West Judges Registration Form.

Below you will find information on what to expect before and during the competition, as well as information on other regional and state competitions. You will also receive more information from your coordinator as the contest approaches.  If you still further questions, email Regional Coordinator James Sunderland at james_sunderland@bedfordps.org for more information.

Thank you for supporting our students, and we look forward to seeing you at our competition!

Judging Assignments

  • Once we receive everyone's judging registrations and preferences, you will receive an email with your judging assignment.  We try to ensure that everyone is assigned to one of their top three choices for project categories.

  • IMPORTANT: If you cannot keep your judging commitment, please let coordinators know as soon as possible so that we can make alternative plans. 

  • Where some of our project categories only received one or two entries, we sometimes assign judges to multiple categories and you may be asked to evaluate two documentaries, two performances, etc.  

Prior to Competition

  • Those who are assigned to judge websites and papers will receive their assignments approximately a week in advance.  You will be able to read through and make notes on your assigned projects, and on the day of the competition you will be performing interviews only. 

  • Judges working with exhibits, performances, or documentaries will be viewing your projects and performing interviews on the day of the competition.  You will not have any advance work to do.

Day of the Competition

  • On March 3rd, all judges should arrive by 8:00 AM.  Orientation will last until 8:45, and judging will commence at 9:00.  Breakfast and coffee will be provided. 

  • Depending on your category, judging will last until 10:45-11:30 (in an ideal world without delays!).  You will receive schedules of judging times prior to the competition—these times also includes scheduled breaks for judges.

  • After your interviews are over, you will return to the judging room to deliberate with your co-judges, decide on your scores, and write your comments.  Be prepared for this to take some time!  You want to make sure to give students constructive comments, particularly if they are advancing to the next round.  You will receive more guidance on this during your orientation.  Lunch will be served for judges and volunteers at this time as well.

  • After you submit your scores, you are welcome to stay for the awards ceremony, but it is not required!  You will also have time if you choose to view other projects.

Judging Materials

If you want to read up on judging ahead of time, here are some materials that can help you prepare!

MHD Competition:

Contest Rule Book

2019 NHD Theme Book

Judge Instructions by Project Category:

Documentary Judge Instructions

Exhibit Judge Instructions

Paper Judge Instructions

Performance Judge Instructions

Website Judge Instructions




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