Maine South High School juniors Keeley Flynn and Brandon Tulban and Maine West Junior Claudia Morrison each had their Chicago Metro History Fair projects selected for advancement to the National History Day (NHD) competition in June at the University of Maryland.
Keeley produced a museum exhibit on an artist, Malvina Hoffman, who created sculptures for a museum exhibit at the Field Museum. The exhibit was called “The Races of Mankind” and sought to depict every “race” with its own specific sculpture. Her argument is focused on racism within the art and science of the exhibit. The exhibit went up in 1933, came down in 1969, and the sculptures were recently reclaimed in an exhibit that was created in 2016, depicting the sculptures as individual people, not racial stereotypes. Keeley utilized resources from the Field Museum to create her project. Keeley is very interested in studying art history in the future.
Brandon wrote, produced, and acted in a live historical performance. The topic of his project was on the reversal of the Chicago River. Brandon is extremely interested in geology and utilized historical research and his understanding of scientific processes to analyze how and why the river was reversed and controversies that emerged. Brandon is very interested in a geology-related field in the future.
Morrison created a historical documentary on local photographer Art Shay who was featured in many news outlets and magazines throughout his career. Her documentary focuses on Shay’s involvement in Civil Rights issues in Deerfield, Chicago and the country. She specifically shows how he got involved in Civil Rights issues when Deerfield faced backlash for trying to build an integrated neighborhood. Her analysis dives into how this event shaped his views on civil rights and galvanized him to showcase through his photography the struggle for the oppressed and misinterpreted in the United States. She did extensive research on his photography and participated in a lecture series on Mr. Shay and the Fight for Integration in Deerfield through the Deerfield Public Library.
The work of the students on this project began in September and will continue until they leave for the competition in June.
The Chicago Metro History Fair is a student-driven inquiry project sponsored by the Social Science Department. It asks students to conduct research into a topic related to Chicago history. After extensive research in the school library, in the local public library, and at museums/archives, students choose to report their results in a traditional research paper, a museum exhibit, a video documentary, a website or a live performance. The competition is fully aligned to the Common Core State Standards and reflects both Illinois Learning Standards and the National Council for the Social Studies’ C3 Framework. The competition begins with the Maine South History Fair in February. Projects are judged by school volunteers. The competition then includes a suburban regional, a city-wide finals, a state history exhibition and culminates in the National History Day competition.