Morgan Park Academy’s annual eighth-grade history project produced a host of outstanding exhibits, with 13 students advancing to regionals and one student qualifying for the 2022 state finals in Springfield.

Lilith will represent MPA at the state level after being recognized by judges at the Chicago Metro History Day regional competition.

Recognized in the individual performance category for her short play about the Chicago labor movement, Lilith joined classmates Alexis, Brazil, Diego, Ethan, Jordyn, Lilith, London, Marcus, Sarah, Savanah, Varun, Zuri, and Zuri at regionals after being selected as best in class by MPA faculty.

Morgan Park Academy eighth-graders participate each year in this popular and challenging competition, researching and presenting a long-form research project.

Over three months of work during the winter, students researched primary and secondary sources and created museum-like exhibits, websites, research papers, and individual performances, with summary statements and annotated bibliographies.

Students develop high-level academic skills as they conduct research and synthesize sources to build their own arguments. They develop important civic reasoning skills as they critically evaluate sources and connect their study of the past with the world they see around them today. Students build agency and confidence as they become subject-matter experts on their chosen topics.

This year, the national theme of the project was “Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences.”

MPA students tackled this theme through a variety of historical lenses:

Sarah created a video documentary on the Radium Girls.

Diego built a website about the trial of the Chicago Eight.

London and Zuri J. made an exhibit about the Pullman Strike.

Ethan, Marcus, Varun, and Zuri C.G. teamed up on an exhibit about the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Jordyn, Alexis, Savannah, and Brazil built a website about the 1919 Chicago Race Riot.


Chicago Metro History Day, formerly known as the Chicago Metro History Fair, is a project-based inquiry program that empowers students to become historians who conduct research and share their conclusions. Guided by their teachers, students in grades 6-12 choose their own topics connected to an annual theme, 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 students for high school and college expectations and helps young people become informed, engaged citizens. Learn more at

Illinois History Day is a statewide program for students grades 6-12 who are interested in building research skills while learning about their state’s history. Students can create a research paper, exhibit, website, documentary, or performance about Illinois’ long and varied history. Students present their research at regional contests across the state. Those who receive a superior ribbon at their regional will be able to attend the state competition hosted in Springfield in May.