Professional Development Programs

The Chicago Metro History Fair offers professional development opportunities to support teachers offering historical inquiry projects. Check out the listings below for our 2016-2017 workshops, seminars, and institutes. For more information, or to register, contact


A 90 minute session to introduce you to the powerful learning tool of History Fair. Two potential dates to attend:

  • May 11 at UIC Student Center East, Fort Dearborn Room
  • May 20 at the Chicago History Museum, 11am


A two-day course in doing History Fair which includes the logistics and methods as well as an experiential, hands-on learning component. July 12-13. (At the Chicago History Museum and Harold Washington Library)


In a one-day intense session, learn the basics of doing History. Select from several dates: July 6, August 3 , or August 24, 9:30-3pm. (At the Chicago History Museum)



Spend the day on a local road trip to visit special collections libraries and see for yourself the richness of the materials for your students, July 10, 9:30am until 3:30pm

BURNHAM SUMMER FELLOWSHIP - Environmental Justice/Democracy is in the Parks!

In this program, study the issues and history of the parks from an environmental and class/justice lens.  How have decisions impacted communities and what is the role and impact of citizen action. Open to all middle grades and high school social studies teachers.  July 17-19, 2017. Online applications to be completed by June 1; decision announced on June 5.

Unless otherwise noted, sessions are free to History Fair Partner schools.

2016-2017 Professional Development Programs

boot camp 2017Introduction to History Fair: The "Boot Camp"

“As a veteran teacher, it is so good to have relevant and strong professional development that leads to something great for my students. Through this very strong social studies research project, my students had to read, write, and think so much -- and I don't even think they noticed how hard they were working!”


Learn everything about History Fair in one intense day-- from planning in your classroom to assessing the final product.

Stay tuned for more professional development opportunities!


nhd logoHistory Fair teachers are encouraged to take advantage of the National History Day Graduate Courses for Teachers 2016-2017

Download the information flyer or see below:


  • Introduction to Project-Based Learning Through the NHD Curriculum Framework (Offered July-August 2016, January-April 2017, and July-August 2017)

The following courses require either five years of History Fair experience or completion of the Introduction to Project-Based Learning course (see above):

  • Developing Websites to Facilitate Historical Thinking Skills (August-September, 2016)
  • Conducting Historical Research in the NHD Model (September.-December, 2016)
  • Developing Exhibits to Facilitate Historical Thinking Skills (October-November, 2016)
  • Writing and Editing for NHD (January-March, 2017)
  • Developing Documentaries to Facilitate Historical Thinking Skills (Summer,  2017)
  • Developing Performances to Facilitate Historical Thinking Skills (Summer, 2017)

nhd graduate course


Graduate credit offered through the University of San Diego.


Previous 2016-2017 Workshops -- Sorry you missed them!

kickoff 2016History Fair Teachers Kickoff

Thursday, October 13, 2016 
Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St.
5:00-7:00 pm

"The Kickoff is the catalyst that gets me motivated each year. I appreciate the enthusiasm of the staff as well as the insight of the speakers. Sometimes a single statement about the topic can help me direct my students and inspire them."

Meet the new theme, "Taking a Stand in Chicago and Illinois History".

Watch demonstrations, get classroom resources, food, drink, and more!


Contact with any questions. 

Parking information at:


boot camp

Introduction to History Fair: The "Boot Camp"

Learn everything about History Fair in one intense day-- from planning in your classroom to assessing the final product.

Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton, Chicago

Contact with any questions.

“As a veteran teacher, it is so good to have relevant and strong professional development that leads to something great for my students. Through this very strong social studies research project, my students had to read, write, and think so much -- and I don't even think they noticed how hard they were working!”

Wednesday, July 13, 2016, 9am-3pm
Register for the Boot Camp:

Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 9am-3pm
Register for the Boot Camp:

Saturday, October 8, 2016, 9:15am-3:15pm
Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St.

Contact with any questions.

Register for the Boot Camp:


Friday, November 4, 2016, 10:00am-3:30pm
Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark Street, Chicago, 60614

Brown bag or you may purchase lunch at the North & Clark Cafe located inside the museum.

Directions, public transportation, and discounted parking information:

Contact (NEW EMAIL ADDRESS!) with any questions.



Taking a Stand in Women’s Political History: From the Electoral to the Radical

  • "Women, HIV, Migration, and the Welfare State" opening talk by Prof. Jennifer Brier, UIC Historian and Director of the Gender and Women's Studies program
  • Excerpts from "She's Beautiful When She's Angry" documentary
  • Explorations of radical and electoral activities by women taking a stand in the Special Collections Library
  • Primary and secondary source readings
  • Lunch provided

UIC Library, Tuesday, August 9, from 9:00am to 3:00pm

Contact with any questions.


Illinois Labor History Workshop and Tour

Tuesday, August 2, 9:00am-4:30pm

Historic Pullman Visitors Center, 11141 S. Cottage Grove, Chicago, IL

Register here:

Cost: $10 to cover the cost of lunch, please bring your payment to the training.

This full-day workshop and tour will concentrate on two important parts of this story: the workers who built the I&M Canal and the story of the Pullman rail car workers.  Held in the historic town of Pullman, which recently became part of the National Park System, this training will allow you to step back in time, and experience first-hand this important labor history story, while providing practical tools teachers can use in their classrooms.

labor history workshop

Sponsored by: The Illinois Labor History Society, the Chicago Metro History Education Center, Teaching with Primary Sources Program at DePaul University, Pullman National Monument and supported by the Illinois & Michigan Canal Heritage Area Internship Grant Program


gape 2015

neh 50

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute: "Rethinking the Gilded Age and Progressivisms: Race, Capitalism, and Democracy, 1877 to 1920"

University of Illinois at Chicago
June 26-July 22, 2016

Applications are due by March 1, 2016!

Some say we live in a second “Gilded Age.” Why do these historical periods—and the issues, events, and personalities of more than a century ago—still matter so much?

Chicago's rich Progressive Era history will be highlighted through the program's readings, discussions, lectures, inquiries, and explorations of historical and cultural resources. Participants will explore Hull House, take bus tours featuring significant sites in the city's labor history, investigate archival collections, and examine the impact of place through architecture. During the four-week institute, teachers will contemplate and debate how individuals and groups defined, reformed, and contributed to a vision for American democracy, opportunity, and culture. Robert Johnston (UIC), Charles Tocci (Loyola University Chicago), Rachel Allmen (CMHEC), and Michael Biondo (Maine South High School) will lead the institute.

Contact if you have questions about eligibility or the application process. You can also find more information at

This program can only accept a limited number of participants from the Chicago area, but please share this information with teachers in other parts of the country who might be interested.


The Website Certification Training

Training for History Fair teachers is an online tutorial. Teachers must be certified to offer the category to their students.

Website Certification

IMPORTANT NOTE TO TEACHERS: We are pleased to see your interest in the History Fair’s newest category, historical websites. Any teacher who wants to enter student website projects in the History Fair this year is required to take the training, below, and earn certification.


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