Students bring history to life at the National History Day-Orange County competition

The first thing you should know about National History Day is that it goes way beyond one day. The research and preparation alone can take months, and then there are contests for students at the county, state and national levels.

That said, there’s a pretty important date coming up.

Students from the National History Day-Orange County contestThis Saturday, March 11, more than 550 students from 37 schools will put their original websites, papers, documentaries, performances and exhibits on display at the National History Day-Orange County competition. The event, which is open to the public, will be hosted by OCDE and held on its main campus in Costa Mesa.

[Updated, March 14: NHD-OC finalists in both the junior and senior divisions have been posted on OCDE’s National History Day webpage.]

Every year, more than 500,000 students in grades four through 12 take part in National History Day events across the U.S., working individually or in teams. The young historians are tasked with conducting thorough research before crafting projects tied to an annual theme.

This year’s theme is “Taking a Stand in History,” and entries from throughout Orange County will be showcased and judged from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 11. The 2017 NHD-OC awards ceremony will be held a few days later on Wednesday, March 15 at OCDE.

Of course it doesn’t end there. 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 Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park in June.

For more information, check out the brief “OCDE in 30 Seconds” video below, visit the NHD-OC website or contact Coordinator Rob Vicario at