April 07, 2016

Regional History Fair set for April 16

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- High school and junior high school students from all over the Southern Illinois region will visit Southern Illinois University Carbondale to consider “Exploration, Encounter and Change in History.” 

That’s the theme for the Southern Illinois Regional History Fair, set for April 16 at the Student Center. This year, participation is bigger than last year’s -- and last year’s was one of the biggest yet. The Southern Region includes the area of Illinois south of a line roughly from Madison and Bond counties across to Lawrence and Richland counties. 

Jonathan Wiesen, professor of history at SIU and Southern Region coordinator for the Illinois History Fair, said he expects nearly 400 students and more than 300 student-created displays, websites, papers and performances.

Media Advisory

Members of the media, including photographers, camera crews and reporters, are welcome to cover the Southern Illinois Regional History Fair on April 16. Contact Jonathan Wiesen for participating schools in your target area. He may be reached at jwiesen@siu.edu or at 618/453-7873.

“As usual we have a significant number of students hoping to compete at National History Day,” Wiesen said, explaining that top projects at the Southern Regional are eligible for competition at Illinois History Day on May 5 in Springfield. Students also have opportunities to win scholarships and cash awards. Top entries at Springfield are eligible to compete nationally at the National History Day Contest, held June 12-16 in Washington, D.C. 

SIU history students contribute to judging the events, giving them a chance to see what topics motivate high school and junior high school students, and how these students approach and grasp the material they use. 

Registration begins at 8 a.m. Performances of historical scenes begin at 10 a.m. The exhibit hall is open to the public beginning at 1 p.m. The awards ceremony begins at 2:30 p.m. with special guests, Meera Komarraju, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and Peter Harbison from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.