1,200 students compete for special awards, chance to move forward to National History Day
SPRINGFIELD – Dozens of Illinois students advanced to the National History Day competition after presenting research papers, exhibits, documentaries and more at the state’s annual History Expo, where Carbondale Middle School and teacher Betsy Brown were honored with the Governor’s Award for excellence in teaching history.
In addition, Chicago’s Decatur Classical School was named the National History Day Illinois School of the Year.
More than 20 students won special awards for their work on such topics as labor history, the courts and African-Americans in Illinois.
“These students demonstrated a tremendous amount of hard work and creativity,” said Gov. Bruce Rauner. “Their parents and teachers – and the whole state of Illinois, for that matter – should be proud of them.”
Approximately 1,200 students competed in the Illinois History Expo on May 7. They qualified for the state event by taking part in regional history fairs. Illinois began sponsoring a student history contest some 60 years ago. It began with research papers, and exhibits were added to the contest about 10 years later.
Today, students also display their creativity and knowledge of history by producing documentaries, building websites and creating original performances.
Students who researched qualifying topics and scored high enough at the Illinois History Expo now move on to the national competition, which begins June 14 just outside Washington, D.C.
"The History Expo proves that Illinois has wonderful students and a rich heritage. Put them together and you get truly impressive results," said Amy Martin, director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
The expo is presented by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency in partnership with the Chicago Metro History Education Center. Photos are available via Dropbox at http://bit.ly/HistoryExpo2015
The special awards and the winners are:
Abraham Lincoln Association Award:
- Amoroso Parker, Quest Academy, Palatine, for the research paper “Abraham Lincoln: How His Leadership and Ingenuity Led to the Emancipation Proclamation and the Legacy of a Free America.”
Elijah Lovejoy Award, Illinois Press Association:
- Lydia Taylor, Belleville West High School, Belleville, for the research paper “The Influence of Muckrakers in Illinois.”
- Carbondale Middle School, Carbondale
National History Day Illinois School of the Year:
- Decatur Classical School, Chicago
Margaret Anne Petty Genealogical/Family History Award:
- Katie Steimel, St. Mary Catholic School, DeKalb, for the website “Making Pianos in DeKalb: How One Factory Influenced a City and an Industry”
Illinois and Michigan Canal Award:
- Oscar Serratos, Oglesby Washington School, Oglesby, for the exhibit “The I & M Canal Changing History
Illinois Labor History Society Award:
- Olivia Fergus Brummer, Lane Tech Academic Center, Chicago, for a performance of “The Most Dangerous Women In America: Why the Leadership and Legacy of Mother Jones Sparked a Labor Rights Revolution”
- Steven Li, Thomas Schluckbier and Rajat Mittal, Mead Junior High School, Elk Grove V