Who We Are

The mission of the Chicago Metro History Fair is to spark students’ interest in the study of history, help them build high-level thinking skills, engage them in civic life, and foster their intellectual self-confidence.

The Chicago Metro History Fair works with teachers and students in middle grades and high school classrooms to tell Chicago's stories and "Make History!"  In discovering the past, they also come to better understand the present, and plan for the future.

History Fair inspires students to build their reading, writing, critical thinking, and presentation skills. History Fair video
Once selecting a topic
connected to Chicago or Illinois history that interests them, they learn how to research, analyze primary and secondary sources, and build an argument based on evidence. They confront questions of significance, credibility, perspectives, change, context, and impact. History Fair methods meet Common Core goals in History and in Reading and Writing and ISBE's Inquiry goals.

CMHF holds annual competitions in which students present their projects to the public. After spending months developing their projects, students produce exhibits, documentaries, performances, papers and websites which are presented in a series of contests. More than 500 adults volunteer each spring to serve as judges at History Fair competitions. It is an engaging and rewarding experience.

History Fair students not only become historians, they also become better citizens. In conducting research, they go into the community to visit historical sites and cultural institutions, and interview people who are experts or participants in a historic event. In studying the history of their community, students learn how decisions are made in the social, cultural, economic, and political realms that affect their lives.

On October 1, 2016, the Chicago Metro History Education Center became a new department of the Chicago History Museum—the Chicago Metro History Fair. We are grateful to the Newberry Library, the Chicago Public Library, and the University of Illinois at Chicago who have supported this program for almost forty years.


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