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

Santiago Elementary student Maverick Malfavon

Local students triumph at National History Day-California competition

For Maverick Malfavon, months of research, writing and preparation came down to just 10 minutes.

That’s how much time the eighth-grader from Santiago Elementary School in Santa Ana had to deliver a performance on the little known court case of Castañeda v. Pickard during this weekend’s National History Day-California competition in Rocklin.

Maverick was ready, having thoroughly analyzed the story of Roy C. Castañeda and his eight-year legal battle against the Raymondville Independent School District on behalf of English language learners. The 13-year-old’s stand-out portrayal earned first place in his division, and that means he’ll get to do it again at next month’s National History Day finals in Maryland.  Read more...


​​​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 the 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-OC program by using it as a means to provide highly engaging history instruction, to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills and to showcase student achievement. 
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 contact us at nhdinfo@ocde.us.

NHD-OC sponsors and hosts the county level NHD competition and Awards Ceremony each March.  During the year, we provide support to teachers, coaches and students by hosting an Orientation Kickoff and 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!

Learn more about National History Day - California!

Please contact us at nhdinfo@ocde.us for more information.