The Chicago Metro History Fair invites you to serve as a judge at the 2017 History Fairs.
Enjoy and learn from local students' exhibits, documentaries, performances, websites, or papers. 


Register Now!

Judging Times & Locations

Exhibits, Documentaries, and Peformances

Suburban Senior Division History Fair
Saturday, February 25, 2017, 8:30am-1:30pm
Niles North High School, 9800 Lawler, Skokie, 60077
Niles North High School 9800 Lawler Skokie_ IL 60077




City-Wide Senior Division History Fair
Saturday, March 11, 2017, 8:30am-1:30pm
Illinois Institute of Technology, Hermann Hall, 3241 S. Federal, Chicago, 60616

Illinois Institute of Technology_ 3241 S. Federal_ Chicago




Metro Senior History Fair Finals Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 8:30am-1:30pm, University of  Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Student Center, 750 S. Halsted, Chicago, 60607


University of Illinois at Chicago Student Center 750 S. Halsted Chicago_ IL 60607




Metro Junior Division History Fair
Saturday, April 22, 2017, 8:30am-12:30pm and 1:00pm-5:00pm (or both sessions, with a break)
Lane Tech High School, 2501 W. Addision (at Western), Chicago, 60618

Lane Tech High School 2501 W. Addison_ Chicago_ IL 60618




Research Papers
Weekday and Evening Sessions at the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark Street, Chicago, 60614. (Unless otherwise noted.)
Chicago History Museum

Tuesday, March 7, 2017: 9:30am-12:15pm, 1-4pm and 5-7:30pm
Wednesday, March 8, 2017: 9:30am-12:15pm and 1-4pm
Thursday, March 9, 2017:  9:30am-12:15pm and 1-4pm
Monday, March 13, 2017: 9:30am-12:15pm and 1-4pm 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017: 9:30am-12:15pm, 1-4pm and 5-7:30pm
Wednesday, April 12, 2017: 9:30am-12:15pm and 1-4pm 
Thursday, April 13, 2017: 9:30am-12:15pm and 1-4pm 
* Thursday, April 13, 2017: 5pm-7:45pm (at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton St.) 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017: 9:30am-12:15pm, 1-4pm, 5-7:30pm
Wednesday, April 19, 2017: 9:30am-12:15pm and 1-4pm
Thursday, April 20, 2017: 9:30am-12:15pm and 1-4pm
* Thursday, April 20, 2017: 5pm-7:45pm (at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton St.) 



Judges will receive an orientation and are assigned up to six website URLs and a partner online. After individually viewing websites, judges confer over the phone before writing their own evaluations and returning them electronically to CMHF. Total time involved is four to five hours, typically spread over two days.

Receive project URLs on March 7;
Evaluations due by March 13 * 

Receive project URLs on April 6;;
Evaluations due by April 13 * 

Receive project URLs on April 18;
Evaluations due by April 24 * 

* Judge partners have an option to do the conference/write-up at the Chicago History Museum on those due dates.


History Fair Judging FAQs

Who are the students?

Students come from both public and private schools in the city of Chicago, suburban Cook County, and Lake, and DuPage counties.  They are in grades 6-8 (Junior Division) and grades 9-12 (Senior Division).

Why do people like to judge?

  • "I fell in love with the kids. They were so excited about their topics!”  
  • “I learned something new from each of the projects I judged. I had a wonderful time."

What qualifications do I need to judge?

None! A volunteer History Fair judge has an interest in history, a commitment to support student work, and the willingness to give constructive feedbackOur diverse pool of volunteer judges include teachers, retired and active business persons, non-profit organization staff, graduate students, professors, and parents.

  • Novice judges are paired with veteran judges. 
  • We can assign you to the category that best suits you: read text and images in an exhibit or website, or listen and watch a performance or documentary, or read a ten-page paper. 

Do I need to attend an orientation before I sign-up to judge?

We orient you on the day that you registered to judge.  Judges may preview materials on the History Fair website:

What is the judging process?

  •  Judges check-in and receive the orientation.
  •  Each volunteer is assigned a partner and projects to judge.
  • Judges evaluate projects and interview students.
  •  They confer with their partner and then write final evaluations.
  •  Judges leave happy that they supported students and learned something new along the way.

How does the overall competition work?

The student projects evaluated for History Fair have been selected by their schools as their top projects.  Students have an opportunity move to the Metro Finals,  Illinois History Day, and National History Day.

How does paper and website judging differ from the big events?

Papers are judged during the weekdays and evenings rather than Saturdays.  Websites are judged in cyberspace (the urls are sent to the judges who then discuss their evaluations remotely). The same rubric applies so the biggest difference is that judges do not interview students.

Where does judging take place?

Every event takes place at different locations in the Chicago area:  Niles North High School in Skokie, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), the University of Illinois at Chicago, Lane Tech High School, the Chicago History Museum, and the Newberry Library...and cyberspace!

Will there be food?

Of course! At the full-day events expect lunch and snacks; at the half day events expect snacks.

What are the parking arrangements if I am not taking public transportation?

Parking is available at every location. Specific information will be sent in your reminder confirmation before the event.

What if I cannot come to the date(s) I signed up to judge?

Please give us as much notice as possible.  Dramatically different judge attendance affects the quality of the day for your fellow volunteers as well as the students. “Every judge counts because every student counts."  Please sign up for the day(s) you will commit to judging rather than to the days in which you may be available.

May I bring a friend to judge too?

Yes, please!  Be aware that we cannot assign friends/spouses to judge together as it unintentionally blurs the evaluations, and therefore can affect students--who are our main concern.  We ask that you respect the assignment given to you, and consider that you and your friend will have twice as much to share when you meet up again after judging your projects!

How are the winners selected?

Approximately the top third of the projects from each contest will advance to the next level. The students and projects that represent Illinois at the National History Day are selected by qualified NHD teams.

How do I find out which projects have advanced?

The History Fair website posts the advancing projects for each competition level.


Register Now!

If you need to change or cancel your judging date, please contact Lisa Oppenheim
 or 312-799-2154. 

Learn more about judging: