March 19, 2018

Southern Illinois Regional History Fair is March 24 at SIU

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — High School and junior high students by the hundreds will converge on Southern Illinois University Carbondale for the annual Southern Illinois Regional History Fair on March 24.

“Conflict and Compromise” is the theme of this year’s event, which takes place in the Student Center Ballrooms and J. Corker Lounge. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and performances, which are open to the public, start at 9 a.m.  The day wraps up with an awards ceremony at 2:30 p.m.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the Southern Illinois Regional History Fair on March 24 at the Student Center. Contact Natasha Zaretsky at 618/453-7876 for participating schools in your area.

Diverse historical topics will be featured

The fair will feature numerous performances, focusing on a wide variety of historical themes and people – from the Shawnee National Forest to Virginia Marmaduke, the acclaimed breakthrough female journalist.

Presentations will also highlight topics including:

  • The Lincoln Douglas Debates,
  • the Lager Beer Riot,
  • the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago,
  • the “radium girls,” and
  • numerous other interesting topics. 

In addition, the event serves as a showcase for exhibits, media projects and research papers created by the students. Last year, nearly 200 high school and middle school students participated.

The 2018 theme asks participants to examine history through multiple perspectives, investigating why conflict occurs, how compromises and resolutions come about and what happens if nothing is resolved or if solutions prove to be short-term.

Participants will vie for prizes and the chance to advance

Superior, excellent and good awards will go to noteworthy fair entries. The top presentations will also advance to the statewide Illinois History Day in Springfield on May 3, where they’ll vie for top honors against entries that advanced from four other regional history fairs.

Numerous awards and cash prizes are presented at Illinois History Day.

Winners from the state event can compete at the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day contest in June at the University of Maryland in College Park.

Learning experience for SIU students

SIU history students assist with the events judging, giving them the chance to see what topics intrigue junior high and high school students and how the youths interpret and present those subjects.

History fair sponsors include the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Southern Illinois University Press and the College of Liberal Arts