March 12, 2019

‘Triumph and Tragedy in History’ is focus of upcoming SIU regional history fair

by Hannah Erickson

CARBONDALE, Ill. — More than 200 local middle school and high school students are gearing up to address “Triumph and Tragedy in History” at the 2019 Southern Illinois Regional History Fair at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

With 18 schools set to attend the annual event, students are preparing a variety of exhibits and performances that look at triumphs and tragedies in Illinois history. The one-day event begins at 9 a.m. on March 23 in the Student Center Ballrooms.

Longstanding tradition at SIU

As host for the Southern Illinois Regional History Fair since 1990, SIU offers a valuable point of connection for local educators. Every year in March, students, parents and teachers from the area come to campus and bring a variety of submissions that detail some aspect of Illinois history. Students can bring exhibits or displays, along with websites, documentaries, research papers and performances.

For Natasha Zaretsky, history professor at SIU, the event is a time for the department to reach out and connect with the region.

“It’s a lovely event that brings different members of the community together,” Zarestsky said. “It is also a great time for local students and parents to tour Carbondale and the SIU campus.”

After students complete their performances and presentations in the morning, a panel of judges evaluate the work and determine the scores for each project. While the judges make their determinations, students and parents often explore the SIU campus and local area. The day concludes with an awards ceremony in the afternoon to recognize student’s work and honor those that move on to the Springfield competition.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the Southern Illinois Regional History Fair on March 23 at the Student Center. Contact Natasha Zaretsky at 618/453-7876 for the participating schools in your area, or for more information.

Winners advance to state and national competitions

After the competition, winners from the regional event will qualify for the next round, hosted by the State of Illinois in Springfield. From there, winners go on to compete in Washington D.C. at the national history fair.

“It’s really awesome to see young people excited about history,” Zaretsky said. “They often get really engaged in their projects and bring a lot of creativity and excitement to the history of the state.”

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and National History Day sponsor the annual event.