Students learn life lessons at Illinois history fair

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The Southern Illinois Regional History Fair took place at Southern Illinois University on Saturday March 25. 

About 250 students from 20 junior high and high schools from Southern Illinois took part in the fair either by performing or displaying their history project. 

"It gets them interested in Illinois history, local history and regional history," Event Coordinator Jonathan Wiesen said. "Just a chance for them to get excited about history and hopefully stay with that interest for the rest of their lives."

Students chose what area to do their project on, anywhere from the Lincoln-Douglas debate to the Great Chicago Fire and much more. 

One group of students said they focused on their project on the racial issues and riots that occurred in Cairo decades ago. 

"I just looked at how different races were treated, like blacks against whites," Carbondale Community High School Junior Rhea Phaumik said. "I am also a minority so it does kind of relate to me as well because I also see this happening to other races as well. Just being able to prevent this from happening to other people also is something that can be learned from this."

Students also said this project benefited them in understanding what happened in history, which they feel can help better their future.

"I think it's important for everyone to learn history of any sort because you know the old saying, history repeats itself," Carbondale Community High School Junior Keagan Schlosser said. "It kind of is what is happening right now so I think if we learn what happened then and the mistakes they made, we can help fix them if somewhat ever comes up again."

Selected students will advance from this history fair to the Illinois History Day competition in Springfield on May, 4. From there, the winners will advance to the National History Day at the University of Maryland in June.

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