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The mission of the Chicago Metro History Education Center (CMHEC)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. CMHEC fulfills this mission and improves history educationby providing:
- yearlong student programs, such as the Chicago MetroHistory Fair,
- that employ inquiry- and project-based approaches to the study of local and community history and use students’ natural curiosity to build their research and critical-thinking skills;
- ongoing, long-term professional development programs for teachers that promote the use of inquiry- and project-basedteaching methods; and
- high-quality curriculum materials that support critical- and historical-thinking skills through the use of primary and secondary sources.
CMHEC is the largest and oldest urban history education organization in the country. It's signature program is the Chicago Metro History Fair, an academic competition that involves 15,000-20,000 students in the Chicago area every year. Through History Fair, students develop research projects on topics related to Chicago history, which they present as exhibits, papers, documentaries, performances, and websites at local, state, and national fairs. CMHEC provides professional development for teachers, coaching for students, and innovative curriulum materials that help teachers and students benefit from their participation in History Fair.