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The Illinois History Fair, sponsored by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, is an annual statewide competition that gives junior high (6th-8th) and senior high school (9th-12th) students an opportunity to win awards and scholarships through various history-related projects pertaining to Illinois.

 

Students may work on an individual or group basis and can present their research findings in a variety of formats including the following:

  • essays and research papers

  • exhibits

  • models

  • media presentations (video, computer, etc.)

  • dramatic performances

 

There are several levels of History Fair competition:

 

Local History Fairs. Over 22,000 students are involved in local fairs, held at participating schools around the state. Although focused on Illinois history, projects are developed as part of social studies, history, english, or special enrichment programs.

 

Regional History Fairs  Outstanding local projects advance to one of five regional fairs that are held in the early spring at college campuses throughout Illinois. http://www.state.il.us/hpa/locate.htm

 

Illinois History Exposition. This annual statewide competition features approximately 1100 projects and papers judged to be superior at the regional fairs and is held in Springfield each May.

 

National History Day  Held at the University of Maryland in June. Only 28 projects from the Illinois Expo are selected to represent Illinois at this prestigious competition. http://www.nationalhistoryday.org/

 

 

If you are new to the History Fair, and would like more information about how to participate:

 

Chicago Metro History Education Center
(if you live in Cook, DuPage, or Lake County)
phone: 312-255-3661
fax: 312-266-8223
www.uic.edu/orgs/cmhec/index.html

Illinois Historic Preservation Agency - Office of Educational Services
(for all other counties)
phone: 217-782-2981
fax 217-785-7937
http://www.state.il.us/hpa/illinoishistoryfair.html

 

 

The following publications are available from IHPA:

Illinois History
Three issues per year feature a specific topic in each issue, and students write the articles. One free issue of each volume is available to teachers using the publication in their classroom. All other subscribers pay $6 for the three issues.

Illinois History Teacher
One copy is sent to each history and social studies teacher in Illinois. Contents include teacher readings and related classroom activities.

Illinois History Fairs: Learning from Illinois' Past
This 11-minute video that introduces teachers and students to the Illinois History Fair is available free of charge. A representative from our office would be glad to visit your classroom if you desire.

Teacher to Teacher
A short (5:26) video program features a conversation with an award-winning high school teacher who examines the many positive aspects of Illinois History Fairs.

How to create a top exhibit
A 33-slide audio-video presentation is available detailing the qualities and techniques that make an award-winning exhibit. This presentation is a must for teachers who want to improve the quality of their student's exhibit but may not know where to begin.

Exploring Illinois History
This video will help your students learn how to select a good history fair topic. Students and teachers will examine the most effective way to choose and research a subject and conversely the areas to avoid when starting on an Illinois history fair project. The

 

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