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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.

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.

Please click here to see a list of Participating Schools

For Parents

To learn more about how to support your child’s participation in the Chicago Metro History Fair, please consult the Parent Letter in English or Spanish for more information.

Students that attend schools which do not offer the Chicago Metro History Fair are still eligible to participate in the program, as well as home schooled students.

“Independent Scholars” must follow the rules of the Chicago Metro History Fair; therefore, all projects must have a metro Chicago connection to be eligible for any level of competition.

The National History Day theme is not required unless the student wants their project to be considered. A $35 participation fee is required for each student in the project.

In order to participate as an Independent Scholar, submit this form along with the fee, to us at, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614, at least six weeks prior to the competition.  We will send the actual registration form two weeks prior to the deadline.


CMHF offers the following opportunities:

  • do support work during History Fair events on weekdays, evenings, and Saturdays from February through April (that is, staff the events)
  • coach student work on thesis development, research, and project development in classrooms on weekdays (special pre-conditions apply)
  • provide vital general office work (weekdays only) that help CMHF prepare or wrap-up History Fair contests
  • work at the History Fair contests as Events staff

For these contributions, complete the CMHF Volunteer Form.


The Chicago Metro History Fair invites you to serve as a judge at a 2018 History Fair event. As a judge, you will evaluate historical research projects—documentaries, performances, exhibits, websites, or research papers on topics related to Chicago history—produced by local students in grades 6-8 or 9-12. No experience is or special degree is necessary; new judges will be trained and paired with a veteran judge. Judging is a stimulating experience as you also learn more about Chicago history through the eyes of youths.

Please click here to learn more about becoming a History Fair judge!

Contact us

Chicago Metro History Fair
Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614

General contact: 312.799.2153 / [email protected]

Lisa Oppenheim: 312.799.2154 / [email protected]
Rachel Allmen: 312.799.2156 / [email protected]
Rebecca Redinger: 312.799.2155 / [email protected]

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