Students take their projects to the State History Fair


The History Fair competition is coming to a close with several students reaching Sectional and State levels after months of hard work.
The State History Fair was created to not only focus on parts of Chicago’s past, but to also learn valuable skills for the future.
“The purpose of History Fair is to allow students to work on their reading, writing, research, and analytical skills while exploring a topic from at least 25 years ago from Chicagoland history that is of interest to them,” said history teacher Erin Wise.
The Regional competition was held on February 28 at Niles North High School. Sectionals were held on April 14 at University of Chicago, and the State competition was held on May 7 in Springfield. Each level was judged by a spread of qualified persons.
“[The projects] were judged by teachers and community members, including members of the Board of Education, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Exchange Club.
“There was a judging form provided by the National History Day. Molly Noel provided training for the GNHS judges. At the Regional fair, the National History Day staff did the same,” said history department chair Christopher Kubic.
Participants of the History Fair were competing for a multitude of prizes from several sponsoring organizations.
“There were prizes (gift cards, free services, photo packages, etc.) from school administrators and local organizations, including Capture the Moment Photography, Real Results Fitness and Performance Center, the Grayslake Exchange Club, the American Legion, and the Grayslake Historical Society,” Kubic said.
The North students who qualified for Sectionals included Ashleigh Hansen, Corryn Smith, Blake Wilshire, Molly Smith, Jessica Rivest and Jordan Calta. Students who reached these higher levels became eligible for scholarships.
“The students needed high marks on their projects from Regionals to make it to Sectionals, and the biggest honor they received was access to a large number of scholarship opportunities they wouldn’t have had access to without making it to this point,” Wise said.
Blake Wilshire is now competing in the State finals based on his project on the Chicago White Sox.
“My project was about Kenesaw Mountain Landis, baseball’s first commissioner. I chose this because I was interested in the Chicago White Sox, and Landis was the person who expelled the eight White Sox players involved in the Black Sox scandal in 1919. I learned more than I thought I ever would and learned more about the history of my favorite baseball team, the White Sox,” Wilshire said.
Corryn Smith, who has also qualified for the State finals, found that her project wasn’t all about her topic, but the lessons she’s learned and the memories made through her experience.
“I learned two unique things: one being how to research more efficiently and the other being able to push through whatever I have to in order to get where I want to be. I learned how to reach out and be talkative in order to research, and it was an extremely humbling and rewarding experience,” Smith said