Eighth-graders Brooke Anderson and Madison Miller rode their outstanding Chicago Metro History Fair projects all the way to Springfield, representing Morgan Park Academy at the state finals this month.

MPA eighth-graders participate each year in this popular and challenging competition, researching and presenting a long-form research project. Over three months of work, students researched primary sources, including visiting the archives of the Chicago History Museum, and created museum-like exhibits, summary statements, and annotated bibliographies.

Brooke’s project on the Pullman porters and Madison’s project on the so-called “Tylenol murders” of 1982 were among four selected by our faculty to represent MPA at the regional competition last month, joining projects by classmates Anya Haynes and Hannah Sipich.

The Chicago Metro History Fair is a project-based inquiry program that challenges students to become historians by actually doing history. Guided by their teachers, local students in grades 6-12 choose their own topics connected to Chicago or Illinois history, and then conduct research, analyze sources, make an argument, and finally produce a project to show their work. Students make websites, performances, documentaries, papers, and exhibitions which are evaluated by community volunteers at annual competitions in the Chicago metro area. This rigorous and rewarding program prepares youth for high school and college expectations as well as civic engagement. Learn more at chicagohistory.org.