Open today 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Anthony Williams & Alexis Owens


Welcome to the Chicago Metro History Fair where you are the historian.  Use this page as a guide to help you through this challenging and rewarding project.

Start your History Fair journey by reviewing our “Students Become Historians” PowerPoint, which gives a detailed explanation of what is involved in participating in History Fair and provides helpful advice for each of the five major steps.

Students who are at non-participating schools may submit a History Fair project as an Independent Scholar. In order to participate as an Independent Scholar, submit this form.

Find Your Topic

Choosing a History Fair topic that you are passionate about is an important foundation for a successful project. Check out the topic selection worksheet to understand what makes a good topic. This History Fair Topics list is long, but it has a lot of great ideas for projects. Use the Encyclopedia of Chicago to learn more! The National History Day 2020 theme essay provides further insights into “Breaking Barrier in History.” Beginning 2020, Chicago Metro History Fair and Illinois History Day will no longer require local historical topics.

Do Your Research

History Fair strengthens your research skills as you seek out historical sources. Learn more about how to find and use primary and secondary sources that are crucial to the process. Seek out libraries and archives to help you in your search. Use our resources to help you keep track of your sources, avoid plagiarism, and create a great annotated bibliography.

Analyze and Argue

Now it is time to make sense of the evidence you gathered. Spend time analyzing your sources and discovering how they might answer your historical question. Your thesis statement is the answer you are trying to prove. Consider how the evidence relates to other sources and how you might use them to develop an argument.

Make History

History Fair allows you to choose the way you present your findings to the world through five project categories. Check out the NHD Project Categories page to learn more about each category: Documentary, Exhibit, Research Paper, Performance, and Website.

Check out our CMHF Website Tip Sheet.

Click here to visit the NHD Website’s Project Examples page. This contains examples of national award-winning projects from each NHD category.

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