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Judge and Volunteer Information

NHD in SD Judge's speaking with a student.

Interested in Serving as an NHD in South Dakota State Contest Judge or Volunteer?

We use judges from all walks of life; educators, college students, librarians, museum personnel, park rangers, journalists, alumni and even armchair historians! ANYONE who loves history, research, the pursuit of knowledge and student success is welcome!

The 2024 State Contest will be held on Wednesday, April 10 at the University Student Union at SDSU.

Interested in Judging or Volunteering? Sign up here.

Volunteer and Judging Sign Up

"Judges deliberating in the Judges headquarters"

What to expect:

How am I assigned?

Ahead of the NHD in South Dakota State Contest, judges will be contacted to register as a state contest judge. At this time judges will be able to request category judging preferences. The NHD in SD staff will then do its best to match the judges with their requested categories of expertise. Note that a category request is not a guarantee that you will receive that judging category. The more information you list about your expertise/background, the easier we are able to assign you to a  judging category that meets your skill-sets.

Options for both the Junior and Senior Categories include:

  • Research Papers
  • Websites
  • Exhibits
  • Performances
  • Documentaries

You will be contacted shortly after judging registration ends with your judging assignments and further contest information.

I've been assigned a judging team, now what?

Judging teams consist of 3 judges. One lead judge and 2 co-judges. The lead judge is an experienced judge that has either judged within NHD® in the past, or someone who has an expertise in the field. the lead judge's job is to help guide the co-judges, and to ensure the team stays on time.

The NHD program utilizes a process known as consensus judging, meaning you will work with your fellow judges to review entries, interview students, provide written feedback, and select which projects advance from the State Contest on to the National Contest.

I've never judged before, will there be training?

Yes! NHD in SD Offers three separate judges training sessions ahead of the State Contest alongside providing digital materials to help you prepare and feel confident.

The first two judges training sessions will take place roughly two weeks ahead of the state contests and will take roughly an hour and a half. During this session judges will get a detailed breakdown of NHD judging procedures, and will participate in category specific training sessions.

The final judges training session will take place the morning of the contest.

What can I expect at the state contest?

Judges will check into the Judges Headquarters in the SDSU Student Union at 8 a.m. Judging can last until 1-2 p.m. depending on if you say on time/ the number of projects you are assigned. Please be prepared to be at the contest until 2 p.m.

Breakfast and Lunch will be provided, as well as coffee.

Parking will also be provided for judges who do not have a SDSU parking pass.

Still have questions?

Additional questions may be directed to South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum Educations Coordinator Sarah Jacobs by email or by calling 605-688-4582.

"NHD in SD Logo, South Dakota Agricultural heritage Museum Logo, NHD Logo"