Your browser does not support JavaScript!
Skip to main content

National History Day-Orange County (NHD-OC) Program

NHD logo.png

Students participate virtually in National History Day-Orange County competition


More than 200 young historians representing 25 schools will once again showcase their original websites, papers, documentaries, performances and exhibits at the National History Day-Orange County competition hosted by the Orange County Department of Education.

Because of the pandemic, this year's NHD contests at the county, state and national levels will all be held virtually to accommodate social distancing. Projects will be submitted online, and NHD-OC judging will take place between Feb. 23 and March 14. All participants and coaches will be invited to attend a virtual awards ceremony at 6 p.m on March 19.

This year's theme is “Communication in History: The Key to Understanding."​

Each year, more than half a million students in grades four through 12 take part in National History Day contests across the country. And, despite the name, the event is much bigger than a single day.

Working as individuals or in teams, participants conduct extensive research on a historical topic before submitting projects related to a specific theme. Those projects can take the form of an original paper, a website, a poster, an exhibit, a performance or even a documentary.

After months of in-depth research and preparation, entries from throughout Orange County will be evaluated by teams of volunteer judges, including more than 100 representatives from the county's educational and business communities.

The top submissions from the National History Day-Orange County competition will advance to the state finals in May, and California's highest-scoring projects will appear at the 2021 National Contest in June.

For more information, contact NHD-OC coordinators Julie Hull and Marika Manos at, or visit the NHD-OC website at​​


What is NHD?

Each year, more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide, participate in the National History Day (NHD) contest. NHD is a year-long educational program in which students become historians. The program directly supports the newly adopted Common Core State Standards in Language Arts with its focus on research and argumentative writing. Students choose historical topics related to an annual theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research by using libraries, archives, museums, and oral history interviews. They analyze and interpret their findings, draw conclusions about that significance of their topics in history and create final projects to present their work. These projects can be entered into competitions at the county, state and national levels where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators.

Schools across Orange County participate in the NHD program by using it as a means to provide highly engaging history instruction and to showcase student achievement.​ NHD directly supports the History-Social Science Framework (content, inquiry, literacy, citizenship) , Common Core standards (project based learning, interconnected learning, etc.), the 21st Century Skills Framework (critical thinking, problem solving, etc.) and College and Career Readiness.

NHD projects can be used at the school site for rich project-based learning experiences and/or entered into a series of competitions, from the local to the national level, where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators.

Why should you invest in an NHD program? NHD Research Data suggests dramatic increases in student scores and improves student performance across all subjects when NHD becomes part of the curriculum.

For more information about NHD-OC, please e-mail us at​


What is NHD-OC?

NHD-OC sponsors and hosts the county level History Day competition and Awards Ceremony each March. During the year, we provide support to teachers, coaches and students by hosting a Teacher Training. We work with archivists to bring an Archivist Day for students to learn about primary and secondary sources as well as receive expert guidance as they select their topics and begin their research. Additionally, we coordinate a "Best Sources" workshop for students at UCI, hosted by Research Librarian.


National History Day

Learn more about National History Day - Orange County​ website.

Learn more about National History Day - California​ website.



Please e-mail us at​ for more information​​.