History Fair

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The History program hosts the annual Southern Regional of the Illinois History Fair each spring. Over 300 high school and middle school students participate in this event, showcasing their exhibits, media projects, research papers, and performances.  Winners at the regional fair advance to the Illinois History Expo in Springfield in May.

According to Jonathan Wiesen, SIU History professor and History Fair coordinator, "the History fair is an exciting opportunity for middle schoolers and high schoolers to do hands on historical research and to share their projects with the wider community."

2023 History Fair

The 2023 Southern Regional Contest is scheduled for Saturday, March 25, 2023. For more information, contact Southern Regional Coordinator

Antonio Salazar
Phone: 618-453-4391


Teachers: To register yourself and your students for the Illinois Southern Regional History Day Contest please visit the regional website at: https://il-srhd.nhd.org/.

For more information, contact:

Antonio Salazar, Southern Regional Coordinator
Email: antonio.salazar@siu.edu
Phone: 618-453-4391

The Illinois History Day Competition is an annual statewide competition that gives students an opportunity to display their knowledge on a topic through various history-related projects.

  • Junior Division (grades 6-8)
  • Senior Division (grades 9-12)

Illinois History Day consists of four regions: Northern, Central, Southern, and Chicago Metro. Students participate in their respective regional competitions in hopes of being selected to participate in the State Competition held in Springfield on the first Thursday in May. In Springfield, some projects will be selected to represent Illinois at the University of Maryland in mid-June during the National History Day competition.

Illinois History Day began in 1947 as a publication entitled Illinois Junior Historian and later Illinois History sponsored by the Illinois State Historical Society. By 1963 the monthly essay and art contest for the magazine soon grew into physical fairs where students could show off their talents and craftsmanship.

In 2021, after much discussion with stakeholders and the national office, the Illinois History Day Contest elected to use the National History Day Rule Book. Students must ensure that their projects meet the qualifications listed in this rulebook. Projects will be assessed based on historical accuracy, clarity in argument, relevance to the annual theme, and the overall quality of the presentation.

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