Morgan Park Academy’s annual eighth-grade history fair project produced not only a host of outstanding exhibits, but also four qualifiers for the state finals in Springfield.

Lyric, Delia, Simone, and Alana will represent MPA at the state level after being recognized by judges at the Chicago Metro History Fair regional competition.

The four students joined classmates Allison, Kristen, Madalyn, and Rain 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 “Frontiers in History: People Places, Ideas.”

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

Delia wrote a paper on Hedy Lamarr, the Hollywood screen legend whose scientific inventions helped aid the Allied cause in World War II.

Lyric created an exhibit about the evolution of spears in human history, and how they intertwined with human evolution.

Alana’s exhibit focused on historic advancements in anesthesia.

Simone designed a website with research about the history of birth control clinics.


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.