About National History Day—California

National History Day’s inquiry-based student centered program brings project based learning to the History-Social Studies classroom. Adaptable to all educational settings, History Day supports critical thinking with authentic research and historical inquiry skills. At its core, History Day is about student choice and voice. Students choose their research topic, they drive their research, and they choose their project format.

California Leadership

Craig Irish, State Co-Coordinator
(916) 803-5682

Whitney Olson, State Co-Coordinator
(707) 849-3503

Email: [email protected]

Make It Engaging

National History Day makes history come alive for students, engaging them in discovering the historical, cultural, and social significance of the past. History Day . . .

Engages 4th-12th grade students in authentic historical inquiry on a topic of their choice as they create History Day projects. Students ...

    • Conduct in-depth research
    • Engage with primary and secondary sources
    • Analyze and synthesize evidence to support a claim
    • Connect events of the past to issues in the present
    • Create and present historical content with a project

Transforms teaching through project-based curriculum that focuses on historical thinking skills, critical thinking, and digital citizenship.

Increases civic awareness and responsibility by training students to be critical thinkers and providing them an opportunity to better understand how history influences our present and future.

Creates well-rounded students who are able to see both sides of an issue, come to informed decisions, and engage in conversations about their conclusions.

Strives to engage all students by providing accessible resources and program options.

Students choose a topic that relates to an annual theme, engage in research and analysis related to that topic, and present their research and conclusions in one of six categories: Documentary, Exhibit, Performance, Podcast, Research Paper, or Website. Students in 4th and 5th grades present their research in the Poster or Podcast category.

Students may then enter their projects into History Day competitions at school, county, state, and national levels. Click here to find your local competition.


of students felt the learning value of their History Day Project was greater than other classroom assignments.


of students were more interested in history because of their participation in History Day.


of students stated their research skills greatly improved as a result of participating in History Day.

NHD-CA Values

NHD-CA believes that the discipline of history explores the full range of the human experience. NHD-CA encourages the participation of all California Students, regardless of race, religion, physical abilities, economic status, gender, sexual orientation, or other identities. NHD-CA Strives to meet the needs of all learners by:

  • building a broad base of participation and involvement that mirrors the diversity of our state's communities and geographies.
  • developing resources grounded in the historical method and research, that are identity-affirming and inclusive, as well as encouraging the understanding of a breadth of perspectives on historical events.
  • hosting fair, accessible, and inclusive contests and seeking to remove barriers to participation, as well as, the inclusion of judges from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
  • engendering a celebration and validation of the cultures and experiences of our students.

More Information / Sign Up

If you would like more information or would like to sign up to participate, please fill out the form and a History Day staff person will be in touch.

Email us at [email protected]

California History Day Sponsors

National History Day in California operates under the leadership of the Sacramento County Office of Education.

Funding provided by

CSU Sacramento, California Foundation for History Education

Regional Partners

Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Fresno, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Merced, Monterey, Orange, Riverside, San Joaquin, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura.

SCOE Logo - Solid White

Sacramento County Office of Education

P.O. Box 269003
Sacramento, CA 95826

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