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Sacramento County History Day

Click on the categories below to see answers to common questions about SCHD.

Creating a Project

How do I get started?


How do I go about choosing a topic?


What is this year's Theme?


How much does it cost to produce a History Day Project?


Competition Day FAQ

What should I expect for my interview (Junior & Senior Divisions)?

Keep in mind that this is a interview - judges lead the discussion. The only category that needs to have a prepared presentation are performances.


Although your total session will be 10-20 minutes (depending on your category), your interview portion with the judges will be about 5 minutes in length. You will be asked questions from 2-3 judges who are volunteers from the community.  The judges will ask you questions that allow you to showcase your knowledge of your topic and highlight your project.  They will not “quiz” you. Remember, the judges are just there to learn about your project!


Typical questions might include

How did you choose your topic?

How did you go about researching your topic?

What were your most helpful sources?

How does your topic connect with this year’s theme?

How did you create your project?

They may ask specific questions about your topic or what you discovered during your research.

What did you learn that surprized you?

What would you like to know more about?


Please do not say what school you are from.

What should I expect for my interview (Elementary Division 4th/5th graders)?

Posters are put into heats of 6-10 projects. All students from a heat will enter the judging room (Main Gym) together at the same time along with the judges for your heat. 


During the session, that will last about 45 minutes, you will be able to walk around and look at the projects in your heat. You will be provided with post-it notes that say, "I like the way you . . ." and you will complete the sentence and give feedback to the other posters in your heat.  At a certian time, the judges (2-3 volunteers from the community) will call you up and ask you a few questions. 


The judges will ask you questions that allow you to showcase your knowledge of your topic and highlight your project.  They will not “quiz” you. Remember, the judges are just there to learn about your project, and you are the expert!


Typical questions might include

How did you choose your topic?

How did you research your topic?

How does your topic connect to this year's theme?

How did you create your project?

What did you learn that surprised you?

What source was the most helpful?

What would you like to know more about?


Have fun and enjoy the process!


Please do not say what school you are from.


What if I can't make my interview time?

All students must be interviewed on the day of the competition in order to qualify for awards and advancement to the state finals.  We do not allow students to be interviewed before or after the competition or to be interviewed remotely by phone or skype.  You MUST be present.  If you have a legitamate confict on the scheduled date, you can request a specific time frame withine the interview window (10:00 am - 12:00 pm) for your interview and if possible we will accommodate your needs.  All requests must be e-mailed to  Note:  For group projects, at least one member of your group must be present to qualify for awards and advancement to the state finals.

What do I need to bring with me?

Documentaries, Websites, Papers:

You submitted your project before the competition. We recommend bringing a back-up of your project along with a copy of your process paper/bibliography.


Exhibits, Performances & Posters:

You should bring your project, props and costumes (if applicable). In addition, please bring 4 copies of your Process Paper/Bibliography with title page and leave these on your project when you set them up (exhibits & posters).  Performance students can hand them to judges during their interview.


Please consult the NHD-CA rulebook to see the requirements for your title page, process paper & bibliography.

What time should I arrive on History Day?

If you have an exhibit or poster these must be set up the night before the competition or by 8:45 a.m. the morning of the competition.  For all other projects, or if you are set up, then you will just need to show up in time to check in and report to your room for your scheduled interview.

What are Final Rounds?

If a category has more projects than can be evaluated by one group of judges (10 or more) we divide the projects into 2 or more heats. The preliminary round judges select 2-3 projects from these heats to move on to a Final round to determine the winning entries. Check the "Schedule of Events" for a list of categories that will have a finals round.


We will post entries that move on to the final rounds in the Atrium and online around lunch time. If your project was listed as a finalist, we encourage you to attend the Awards Ceremony.

When can I set up my Exhibit or Poster?

Ther are two options for setting up your Exhibit or Poster:


1.  Early check-in and set up will take place the Friday before competition day from 6:00 - 7:30 pm.   


2.  You can check-in from 7:00 - 8:45 am. and set up your project the morning of the competition prior to the start of interviews/judging.


Note:  Parents can help carry objects but exhibits must be set-up by students.

When can I take down my Exhibit or Poster?

Check the contst schedule for specific times.


In general you can not take your exhibit or poster down until after all judging (including finals judging) has concluded.  We also ask that you leave it up until after the public viewing.


Any projects left after Sacramento County History Day will be discarded.

What is there to do at History Day?

Once you are finished with the judging process, you have no obligations until the awards ceremony.  We invite you to stay around and enjoy some of the historical entertainers.  We suggest bringing something to keep you busy such as homework, a book or games.  We also encourage you to support your classmates by watching performances or documentaries, or explore student projects from other schools.

What should I know about Performances?

Students doing a Performance will need to get all props set up on stage. We recommend coming early and getting your props prepared so you are ready when it is your turn to set up.  Students are given 5 minutes to set up, 10 minutes for their performance, and 5 minutes for the interview.  Students must set up their own props.

What types of awards are given?


We will award 3 champion medals for each Jr./Sr. Division category and 4 champions for the elementary categories. Champions will advance to the NHD-CA competition that takes place in May.



We will award 1 Runner-Up medal for each category.  The Runner-Up will be invited to the NHD-CA competition if the champion is not able to attend.


Special Awards

We will recognize projects and provide special awards for based on criteria set up by the sponsoring agency. Your teacher recommended you for any that apply. In addition our special award judges look for projects that fit the criteria.


Examples of Special Awards:

African American Award

Medical History Award

Civil War History Award

Women's History Award


What interviews are open to the public?

Documentaries & Performances

The public is allowed to watch documentaries and performances as long as their are seats in the rooms.  Check the schedule for start times.  Please wait for breaks to enter the rooms.


Exhibits & Posters

The public can view these projects during the public viewing period. Check the contest schedule for the times listed for public viewing.


Papers & Websites

These rooms are closed to the public. However, links are available in the event program for you to view these projects online.






What are Special Awards?


How many other students wil my child be competing against?


How can I be a supportive parent?


My child's school does not participate in History Day. What should I do?



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