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Jazzed About History, Social Science, and Civics

More Than 1,400 Students Showcase Their Perspectives at CA History Day

Vedansh Shetty, Eddie Sharp, and Samay Patel posing

Elementary Division champions Vedansh Shetty, Eddie Sharp, and Samay Patel, from Sacramento County.

After months of intensive project research and success at district and county-level competitions, champions in grades 4 – 12 competed and were recognized on April 15-16 at Sacramento State University, concluding the 2023 National History Day—California state competition.

“I’m convinced that History Day is an outstanding way to promote interest in history among students and to support teachers in building interest in history more effectively with our young people,” said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools Dave Gordon in his opening remarks for the April 16th Elementary Awards Ceremony.

More than 1,400 students participated from 244 schools across 24 counties in the state finals, supported by 250 volunteer judges. Sixty-two students in the Junior/Senior Divisions were selected to represent California at the National History Day competition taking place in College Park, Maryland, this June.

Sacramento County Results

Although a representative from Sacramento County was not selected to advance to the national level, four local students were recognized. In the Elementary Division–which doesn’t advance–the Champion group project was “Levi Strauss - The Man, The Idea and The Company” by Eddie Sharp, Vedansh Shetty, and Samay Patel from Theodore Judah Elementary School. In the Junior/Senior Division, Honorable Mention was awarded to Ashly Omalu from Sacramento Country Day School for her project, “The Autopsy That Changed the World.”

A complete roster of 2023 State Competition Results (by division) is available, as well as a photo gallery from the two-day event.

CA Nominees for the “Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year” Award

Two educators from California have been nominated for the prestigious “Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year” award, a national honor for teachers who engage History Day students through innovative teaching and active learning strategies. California’s nominees are Michael Chatfield from McKinleyville High School, Humboldt County, and Hector Gamboa from Venado Middle School, Orange County. Winners will be announced during the National History Day awards ceremony.

National History Day Program

Each fall, more than 600,000 students nationwide begin the year-long National History Day program. Students begin by creating classroom projects, then some advance to compete in a series of history contests that progress from the district level to the county, then on to a statewide competition. Students choose their own study topic and connect it to a common theme, which for 2022–23 is “Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas.” Through research and creative processes, students develop skills in communication, project management, and historical thinking.

Students posing, holding with historian shirts
Students standing beside project
Students posing
Group of students giving peace sign while posing