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  • Alameda County History Day

    Saturday, March 11, 2017 at William Hopkins Junior High, Fremont, California

    History is more than just dates and facts. It’s about thinking critically: examining differing points of view, researching primary sources, developing questions, and analyzing information. It’s about interpreting past events and lives to relate them to the present and appreciate how the world came to be as it is, and even more, to envision a better future.

    The research-based “History Day" program is a program advancing the “six proven civic learning practices” as highlighted by the California Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools. It enables students to examine any topic connected to the year’s theme (this year, “Taking a Stand in History”) established by National History Day in College Park, MD. All 4th – 12th graders in Alameda County are eligible to enter! Students work individually or in groups to perform extensive primary and secondary source-based research, and demonstrate their findings and analysis by producing a project in any of the following categories:

    • museum exhibit
    • dramatic performance
    • documentary film
    • website
    • historical research paper.
    • elementary students (grades 4-5) may create 2D posters

    Schools may enter up to three outstanding projects per category. Many have schoolwide competitions to determine their entries in the county-wide competition. County winners are eligible to enter the National History Day-California contest, to be held this year at William Jessup University in Rocklin from May 6-7.

    More information is available at
    or contact Avi Black at

    The History of History Day in Alameda County

    By the early 2000s, Alameda County History Day was flourishing through the hard work of a corps of individual teachers who came together for one special day each year.

    Ten years ago, the “torch of leadership” was passed on to the ACOE. The goal of the ACOE’s “History Day Initiative” is to expand access to a much wider range of districts, schools, teachers and students, within the county and, eventually, to the wider Bay Area. We particularly target students in circumstances where support for history education and opportunities for extracurricular study in history are lacking. The specific approaches we are taking to reach this goal:

    • Broadening student participation
    • Developing an effective support network
    • Creating a powerful History Day event
    • Expanding community involvement and professional development opportunities

    Eight years ago we moved the competition to the Oakland Museum of California as a way of opening it to the broader community. Since then, we have seen a notable expansion in participation. This year, as we move to Hopkins JHS (thanks, Fremont USD!), we have nearly 60 projects and well over 100 students. We have offered workshops in collaboration with our partners, particularly CSU-East Bay and the UC Berkeley History-Social Studies Project, such as those for teachers on “Integrating History Day into the Class Curriculum” and others (including our now-annual “Research Day” at the CSU-East Bay Library in Hayward) to support students in completing their projects and parents in lending appropriate support.

    There are many ways to support us:

    • by offering History Day as an opportunity in class or after school
    • by judging
    • by joining our support network
    • by being an interview subject for next year’s competition, for which the theme will be “Conflict and Compromise in History"
    • by coming to view the competition.

    We thank those who visited this year – spread the word!