Competing With History
Students from about 80 schools were participating in the championships where they showed dramatizations, museum-type exhibits, documentaries and more.
"We came upon this project because it's a class project, but the order number 11,"contestant Cole Cade said. "We wanted to learn about our counties in Missouri and we knew about our rivalry between Missouri and Kansas, so we wanted to see what it was like during the civil war."
Three buildings on the MU campus were transformed into performance venues and exhibit halls for this year's contest theme "Triumph and Tragedy in History."
Teachers like Widget Ewing said they loved watching kids get excited about history.
"There have been some marvelous exhibits many of them on the holocaust, I think are very haunting," Ewing said. "As a teacher I like them to teach me something, so that is one thing I look for."
The competition includes kids from sixth to twelfth grade. Historians and history teachers say they want to encourage kids to learn from primary sources. Something Tommy Nabelek took to heart for his project.
"It was very fun," Nabelek said. "We saw original documents from that time manuscripts. Like letters that were written by these people and documentation and stories that they wrote about what happened."
Ewing added that even at this event kids are excited and already thinking about future competitions.
"They're ready for next year in fact they're void, they're eager. I believe it is "Conflict and Compromise in History" next year," she said.
Missouri students took first in the nation last year. Two students from Hollister High School won the senior group exhibit category.
This year's national contest will be held at the University of Maryland June 10-14.