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Professional Development Programs

The Chicago Metro History Fair provides professional development opportunities to support teachers offering historical inquiry projects. From offerings in History Fair methods workshops to research experiences and scholar-based sessions, History Fair PD enriches teacher practice and builds content knowledge.

History Fair Boot Camp – Summer Sessions

Choose from three sessions:

  • Monday, July 1
  • Wednesday, August 7
  • Thursday, August 29

9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Free; 6 PD hours per session
In an intensive one-day session, Chicago Metro History Fair staff leads teachers through the process of teaching and doing History Fair, from planning in your classroom to assessing the final product. The Chicago Metro History Fair will provide materials and conduct a follow-up visit. Designed for social studies teachers in grades 612.

> Register for a Boot Camp session


History Fair Methods

Monday and Tuesday, July 15–16
9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Free; 12 PD hours
In a two-day course, teachers engage in the History Fair process themselves by doing a “mini-project,” as well as learn the administrative and organizational needs of teaching History Fair. The first day is held at the Harold Washington Library Center and the next day is held at the Chicago History Museum. Materials and professional development credit hours are provided. Participants must attend both sessions; space is limited.

> Register for History Fair Methods


Modern by Design for History Teachers

Monday, July 22
9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Free; 6 PD hours
The City of Big Shoulders was one of the industrial capitals of the world, but did you know that because of its manufacturing prowess, it helped usher in modern design for mainstream America? All of this happened in the depths of the Great Depression and the New Deal, during the 193334 world’s fair, when refugee designers settled in Chicago, and consumerism differently impacted based on race, gender, and class. History Fair teachers may ask, “What boundaries did Chicago design break through?” Learn more in Modern by Design: Chicago Streamlines America.

  • Morning: Gallery tour and discussion with exhibition curator Olivia Mahoney.
  • Afternoon: Lecture and discussion with Robert Bruegmann, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art History, Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago, followed by “virtually exploring” Modern by Design with CHM assistant curator Julius L. Jones. Participants also will view resources in the research center with librarian Lesley Martin.

Participants will receive readings and a copy of the book Art Deco Chicago, edited by Dr. Bruegmann

> Register for Modern by Design

Learn more about the exhibition in Blair Kamin’s article for the Chicago Tribune.

History Fair Kickoff!

Tuesday, October 22
4:30–7:00 p.m.
Free; 2.5 PD hours
Teachers who participate in the History Fair gather to explore the new theme, gather resources, and celebrate another year of this classic–yet always on the cutting edge– project-based inquiry.

> Register for the Kickoff


Online Courses

  • Website Tutorial for History Fair Teachers who plan to offer the website category is on hold until the new NHD Website Builder is in effect.
  • National History Day offers numerous online courses which can be taken for graduate credit or audited.
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