Parker Junior High School had 32 students honored by the Flossmoor District 161 Board of Education May 8 for their outstanding projects in the Chicago Metro History Fair.
Projects were presented in the form of a paper, a play or documentary, a website or an exhibit.
According to teacher Linda O’Dwyer, the students began their projects in November and finished in early March. The young historians conducted research during seventh grade social studies and eighth grade enrichment periods, or study halls, typically two or three times a week in 43-minute class periods.
“The seventh grade included this as part of the social studies curriculum with an option to compete in the fair, and the eighth graders chose this as an optional project,” O’Dwyer said.
The regional competition project was sponsored by Chicago Metro History Fair under the auspices of the Chicago History Museum. More than 100 middle schools competed.
The local competition took place March 15 at Parker. Teacher and parent judges were recruited. Nearly 150 students from several schools competed with 36 projects; 11 of those projects were chosen by the judges to advance to the regional competition held in April at Lane Tech High School in Chicago.
The Parker PTO sponsored the local history fair, awarding ribbons, medals and raffle prizes and providing refreshments for participants and judges.
“We’re beyond proud of our young scholars,” O’Dwyer said. “They presented their projects with such joy and enthusiasm.”
Mentor teachers included O’Dwyer, Karlie Zeipen, Janet McKenna, Lisa Nicotra, Eric Youngquist and Sarah Rudenga.
Competition categories and honored students include:
Papers ― “Discrimination” by Pehyton Robinson, seventh grade
Websites ― “Martin Luther King Jr. March on Chicago” by seventh graders Trevone Penson, Jalen Cook, Michael White and Adrian Tanguma;“Police Brutality” by seventh graders Vershon Boyd, Justin Barnett, Taji Mathis Akinremi, Jelani Perry and Anthony Viveros; ”Black Panthers” by eighth graders Jake Whitver, Ari Sline, Kenyon Haynes and Branden Anderson
Exhibits ― “Forced Confessions” by seventh graders Roza Kachavos and Khalia Maxon;”The Revolution of Emmett Till” by seventh graders Layla Lanier, Jaya Russell and Kennedy Robertson; “Black Panthers” by seventh graders Regan Gibson, Oscar de la Torre and Sydney Davis; and “Daniel Burnham Plan” by eighth graders Dillon Taylor, Ellis Marshall and Emmanuel Key
Documentaries and Plays ― “Polish Culture” by eighth graders Natalia Makarewicz and Lauren Matthews; “Black Panthers” by seventh grader Kennedy Smith; and “Black Lives Matter and Police Brutality” by seventh graders Justen Pippens, Cornilius Loyd, Jonah Thompson and Lenora Houston