UPDATE: National History Day-OC competition moved to virtual format amid COVID-19 concerns

UPDATE: In response to recent guidance from the California Department of Public Health and California Governor Gavin Newsom, and in consultation with our NHD California Director and the NHD National Director, OCDE has made the decision to mitigate exposure the COVID-19 virus by conducting the contest virtually this year.

Here’s the latest guidance for participants and families:

Interviews will not be held as part of the contest for this year and will not impact scoring. All entries will be judged and winners will be announced through our NHD-OC website no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, March 27. We will not have an awards ceremony this year; awards will be sent to coaches.

If you have an entry for a website, documentary or paper, NHD has everything needed to judge your entry; you do not need to do anything.

If you have a poster or exhibit, please take pictures and move into a slide deck. Judges will need to be able to read the text on your exhibit, so please make as many slides as needed to make all elements visible and readable. Do not rewrite text into your slides; judges will only review the photos submitted from each entry. Upload your slides to https://tinyurl.com/nhdoc20 no later than Wednesday, March 18 by 5 p.m.

If you have an individual or a group performance, please record your performance — a recording using your cell phone will suffice. Your submission will be judged on the quality of your research, not the quality of your video. Upload your performance to https://tinyurl.com/nhdoc20 no later than March 18 by 5 p.m.


Nearly 500 young historians representing 34 schools and a dozen school districts will once again showcase their original websites, papers, documentaries, performances and exhibits at this month’s National History Day-Orange County competition.

Hosted by the Orange County Department of Education, the two-day event will take place Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14.

Students showcase their National History Day project
Students from Olinda Elementary School discuss the Federalist Papers at the 2018 National History Day-Orange County competition.

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 in teams, must conduct extensive research on a historical topic before submitting projects related to the year’s specific theme.

Student projects take the form of an original paper, a website, a poster, an exhibit, a performance or even a documentary. This year’s theme is “Breaking Barriers in History.”

After months of in-depth research and preparation, entries from throughout Orange County will be displayed and judged from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on March 13, and from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 14.

The 2020 NHD-OC awards ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, also at OCDE’s main campus.

The top submissions from the National History Day-Orange County competition will travel to the state finals in May, and California’s highest-scoring projects will advance to the National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park in June.

For more information, contact Coordinator Julie Hull at 714-966-4328 or jhull@ocde.us, or visit the NHD-OC website at link.ocde.us/NHD-OC.