To study history, you basically have to become a detective. That’s because historians, like detectives, ask questions, analyze evidence for clues and apply investigative skills to reconstruct history.
Well, more than 450 students from 32 schools and 11 districts recently accepted the challenge to be history detectives for the annual National History Day-Orange County competition. Their scholarly projects, representing the culmination of months’ worth of research and preparation, are set to be displayed and judged from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 14 at OCDE’s main campus.
Each year, more than 500,000 students in grades four through 12 take part in National History Day contests at the local, state and national levels. Working as individuals or teams, participants conduct extensive research on a historical topic before submitting projects related to an annual theme.
This year’s theme is “Leadership and Legacy in History.” As usual, projects will include original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and even documentaries.
The public is encouraged to support Orange County’s youngest historians by checking out their work on March 14, and the official awards ceremony will follow two days later. But that’s not the end of it. The top entries will advance to the state finals in May, and California’s highest-scoring projects will compete at the National History Day contest at the University of Maryland at College Park in June. (Hopefully some locals will be making the trip.)
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