Chicago Metro History Fair Exhibit Rules PDF Print E-mail

A History Fair exhibit is like a room in a museum-not a report on a display board with pictures. It relies on clear, succinct text (labels) and a substantial amount of visual evidence to communicate the student's research and analysis.

STUDENTS -- DOWNLOAD OUR INSPIRING AND INFORMATIVE EXHIBITS GUIDE.  YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU DID!

 

RULE 1: Individuals or groups of no more than five students may do an exhibit.

 

RULE 2: Size limitations: 6 feet high X 40 inches wide X 30 inches deep from the front of the table to the back of the exhibit. (See diagram below.) So long as the exhibit fits within the required dimensions, it may be constructed in any shape.

RULE 3: Exhibits must be free standing.

RULE 4: Two copies of the Summary Statement Form with an attached annotated bibliography must accompany exhibit. The annotated bibliography should be divided between primary and second sources.

RULE 5: Project topics must be connected to the Chicago region--even if the national theme is being used. Non-Chicago topics will be evaluated but will not be eligible to advance.  Junior HF allows topics in Illinois history.

RULE 6: Plagiarism is not accepted, and constitutes grounds for disqualification.

PENALTY POINTS (High School only)
Exceeds size limits: Minus 3 points
No Summary Statement Form: Minus 10 points
Bibliography not annotated: Minus 5 points
No bibliography: 0 points in source category

MAXIMUM DIMENSIONS FOR HISTORY FAIR EXHIBITS

72 INCHES TALL

40 INCHES WIDE

30 INCHES DEPTH

 

Exhibit Guidelines

See "Communicating Your Story" on the MAKING HISTORY page for further guidance.

  • Exhibits should use evidence such as pictures, photographs, maps, political cartoons and when appropriate, add visual aides such as graphs.

  • The "labels approach" treats the project like a museum exhibit. The labels function to support the argument which the primary and secondary sources illustrate. They are 50-75 words (book-ended by larger introductions and conclusions). Captions are brief and identify particular sources. Some students take a "captions approach", and write an explanatory caption for each source. Either method is acceptable-the result of a fully developed and logical narrative is the most important factor.  Consider using no more or less than 750-1,000 words.

  • Exhibits should have a logical flow: people reading the display should know where to begin and end, and in what order they should read the text and view the evidence. Use of clearly defined headings and subheadings to guide the reader is highly encouraged.

  • Timelines help sequence events but have limited effectiveness for conveying knowledge and analysis. While they are helpful to students during the research phase, timelines are not required as a component of the exhibit.

Exhibits are evaluated by the display, the Summary Statement form, and annotated bibliography. Supplemental models, artifacts, binders, or electronic devices do not influence the evaluation's score. (However, if they are an integral part of the exhibit, properly explained then they may be part of the school. Audio or visual components should not be more than two minutes long.) CMHEC cannot be held responsible for any material left with an exhibit.

 

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