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Welcome to Chicago Metro History Day — Where Students Make History!

Chicago Metro History Day, formerly known as the Chicago Metro History Fair, is a project-based inquiry program that empowers students to become historians who conduct research and share their conclusions. Guided by their teachers, students in grades six through twelve choose their own topics connected to an annual theme, and then conduct research, analyze sources, make an argument, and finally produce a project to show their work. Students make websites, performances, documentaries, papers, and exhibitions which are evaluated by community volunteers at annual competitions in the Chicago metro area. This rigorous and rewarding program prepares students for high school and college expectations and helps young people become informed, engaged citizens. Come make history with us!

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Celebrating Student Historians

Chicago Regional History Day 2023

Congratulations to our special ​award recipients and to our students advancing to Illinois History Day!​ See the full list of 2023 Award Winners.

National History Day 2022

Chicago Metro History Day had several medalists, finalists, and special prize winners at the 2022 NHD National Awards Ceremony. Congratulations to:

  • Dou Lai, Vladislav Bodnaruk, and William Wang, “A City within a City: The Cabrini Green Housing Projects,” 1st place, Junior Group Website
  • Serena Cherian Thomas, Louis Auxenfans, and William Tan, “Jazz Dissonance: Examining the Irony of the State Department’s Cold War Diplomacy during the Civil Rights Era,” 3rd place, Senior Group Documentary
  • Donovan Miller, Lauren Tapper, and Sarah Kumar, “AIMing for a Diplomatic Future: The American Indian Movement’s Occupation of the BIA and the Fight for Tribal Sovereignty,” 4th place, Senior Group Documentary; the students also won a special prize: the National Park Service’s Native American History Prize
  • Ella Fang, Elsa Torres, and Megan Tan, “The Opium Wars: An Excuse for British Foreign Policy,” 7th place, Junior Group Documentary; the students also received Outstanding Affiliate Junior Division
  • Lena Stole, “Annexation or Occupation: Bayonet Diplomacy, Limited Congressional Debate, and the Ambiguous Status of the 50th State,” 8th place, Senior Individual Website
  • Daniel Roque, “Uprising in the Coalfields: The Battle of Blair Mountain,” Outstanding Affiliate Senior Division

Smithsonian Documentary Showcase 2022

The following student projects from Illinois were competitively selected to be featured in virtual showcases at cultural institutions across Washington, DC. Congratulations to:

  • Louis Auxenfans, William Tan, and Serena Cherian Thomas from the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools High School whose documentary, “Jazz Dissonance: Examining the Irony of the State Department’s Cold War Diplomacy During the Civil Rights Era,” was featured at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
  • Slokha Anandula, Nidhi Karekar, Emily Zmyslowski from Margaret Mead Junior High School (Elk Grove Village), whose exhibit, “The Fight for Forest Preserves: The Tale of Busse Woods Creation,” was featured at the National Museum of American History.
  • Julia Cerimele from Regina Dominican High School (Wilmette), whose paper, “The Debate Seen and Heard ‘Round the World: The Transformative Legacy of the Kennedy-Nixon Debates on Presidential Elections, Image Creation, and Personal and Public Diplomacy,” was featured at the White House Historical Association.

Illinois History Day 2022

Congratulations to our special ​award recipients and to our students advancing to Illinois History Day!​ See the full list of 2022 Award Winners.

Congratulations to all our students who qualified for National History Day! See our list of National History Day Qualifiers. 

History Fair 2021

Visit our 2021 Student Accolades page to learn about the amazing work that student historians are doing this school year! You can now learn about Team Illinois’ results at the NHD National Contest here!

Our Sponsors

Chicago Metro History Day, a program of the Chicago History Museum, is made possible by participating History Day schools and the generosity of area organizations and individual donors. We gratefully acknowledge support provided by Busey Bank, HBK Engineering, the Minow Family in honor of Josephine Baskin Minow, and the University of Illinois Chicago. Additional programmatic support is provided by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, Northeastern Illinois University Libraries, and our many prize sponsors. Chicago Metro History Day is a regional affiliate of National History Day.


Help Spark Curiosity!

Support from donors makes it possible for Chicago Metro History Day to reach more than 10,000 students annually from numerous schools in the Chicagoland area. Help us spark students’ curiosity and a lifelong love of history through this wonderful program. Consider making a gift today.

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