Local students prepare for National History Day-Orange County competition

More than 550 young historians representing 38 schools and a dozen school districts are getting ready to showcase their websites, papers, documentaries, performances and exhibits at the National History Day-Orange County competition.

NHDThe event will be hosted by the Orange County Department of Education and held on OCDE’s main campus at 200 Kalmus Drive in Costa Mesa on Saturday, March 12.

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. Participants, working as individuals or teams, must conduct extensive research on a historical topic before submitting in-depth projects related to the year’s specific theme. Student projects can take the form of an original paper, a website, an exhibit, a performance or even a documentary.

“Participants are challenged to creatively communicate their conclusions and prove their thesis around an important historical topic,” says Rob Vicario, OCDE’s coordinator of history and social science. “To finish among the top among the most competitive schools demands many extra hours of time and effort. For most students, participating in NHD-OC is a noteworthy accomplishment and the reward for making it through a school-wide competition.”

Aligned with the theme of “Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History,” this year’s top entries from throughout Orange County will be displayed and judged from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at OCDE on March 12. Then comes the 2016 NHD-OC awards ceremony, which will be held on Wednesday, March 16 at OCDE’s main campus.

And that’s not the end of it. The winning submissions from Orange County will travel to the state finals in May, and California’s highest-scoring projects will advance to the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park in June.

For more information, visit the NHD-OC website. And if you’d like to see Rob Vicario explain National History Day in just 30 second, go here.