Lauren Grachek earns grand prize in history fair

·2 min read
Meadow Montessori History Fair winners are (front row, from left): Macie Wear, Kira Mayes, Mirra Bodi, Liam Bednarz, Lillian Nasr; Jack Hopps-Zunk; (back row): Carolyn LaVoy, Gwyneth Culbertson, Grace Schall, Lauren Grachek, Addison Branham. Dani Pienta is not pictured.
Meadow Montessori History Fair winners are (front row, from left): Macie Wear, Kira Mayes, Mirra Bodi, Liam Bednarz, Lillian Nasr; Jack Hopps-Zunk; (back row): Carolyn LaVoy, Gwyneth Culbertson, Grace Schall, Lauren Grachek, Addison Branham. Dani Pienta is not pictured.

Seventy students in Grades 1-8 competed in this year’s history fair at Meadow Montessori.

On Thursday afternoon, the finalists presented their projects to the study body and a panel of judges.

Lauren Grachek earned the grand prize for her project on the Bubonic Plague.

“The author compared bacterial infections and viruses and asked the question, ‘If the people in the 14th-century had access to antibiotics to cure the Plague, would they have taken them?,’” said Catharine Calder, head of school.

Also placing were:

First-place: Carolyn LaVoy, Concentration Camps: Their Tragic Past & Present

Second-place: Liam Bednarz, Haida Tribe

Third-place: Macie Wear, Rachel Carson

Fourth-place: Mirra Bodi, Money

Fifth-place: Kira Mayes, The Great Depression

Sixth-place: Gwyn Culbertson, Shrunken Heads

Received honorable mentions were:

Lillian Nassr, Ancient Egyptian Time Telling

Jack Hopps-Zunk, The History of Nike

Addison Branham, Radium Girls

Grace Schall, The Origin and Major Machines of Robotics

Dani Pienta, Revenge

The History Fair has been a tradition at Meadow Montessori for 30 years.

The project challenges students to choose a topic of their own interest and then explore and research it for several weeks. Students prepare tri-fold boards complete with information, graphs, photos and tables.

“Noting the success of the Science Fair, educators created a similar process for students to share their knowledge,” said Calder. “The projects were excellent this year. The topics were varied and reflected the interest of individual students. There are always a number of biographical projects--Vincent Van Gogh, Rosa Parks, Maria Montessori to name a few--and topics one might not have imagined—for example, The History of Eggnog, Cat Mummies and the iPhone.”

Mirra Bodi’s project focused on Money. Gwyn Culbertson looked at Shrunken Heads.

“Mirra looked at the evolution of the bartering systems to coin-based currently, then paper money (China was the first) and on to plastic money—credit cards. The presenter also touched on crypto currencies,” said Calder. "The author of Shrunk Heads looked at the cultural reasons for this ancient practice and noted that this group was the only indigenous group to successfully revolt against the Spanish."

“History really is, according to Maria Montessori, a chance for us to recognize and acknowledge the gifts for those who came before us,” said Calder in the video explanation of the project.

This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: Lauren Grachek earns grand prize in History Fair

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