Leading Stories

by Taylor Picconi, Staff Writer

The UWF Historic Trust recently opened their Best of Show exhibit at the T.T. Wentworth Jr. Museum.  The exhibition features projects from the Escambia County District History Fair.  

Students chose a significant event or famous figure in history and presented what they learned on a tri-fold poster board. The creativity of each project varied amongst the students from coordinated color schemes to boards covered end-to-end in pictures and homemade decorations.  

The Best of Show winners were elementary, middle school and high school students from Escambia County who were selected from the Escambia County District History Fair after they advanced from their school competition to the District Level.  

Jim McMillen, Museum Educator and Tour Coordinator, said the students did not need to advance to the State Level to be selected for this exhibition.

“The Best of Show award at the T.T. Wentworth is meant to encourage students to improve and continue to develop their research skills,” McMillen said.  

The projects displayed the students’ research skills and the style in which they decided to exhibit them. The theme for this year’s competition was triumph and tragedy. Projects covered historic events like the sinking of the Titanic, the 1972 Olympics in Munich, the first transatlantic flight and the bombing of Hiroshima.

Historic events were not the only topic covered; students also chose to create projects about famous historical figures as well. The projects featured famous figures like Henrietta Lacks, whose cell line was immortalized for cancer research, and Alice Paul, who played an important role in the Women’s Suffrage Movement.  

“It’s amazing. These projects don’t look like something from school-age children,” said one visitor. “They’re beautifully done, and I learned quite a bit just from these few boards.”

More than 200 students competed in the Escambia County District History Fair this year, where 24 schools were represented. The exhibition in the T.T. Wentworth Jr. Museum displays the projects that were voted “Best of Show.”

“It really is cool to see the projects,” said another visitor.  “It’s a refreshing way to learn or relearn history, and these are skills that will benefit these students for the rest of their life.”

The museum chose to exhibit these projects for that reason, to encourage students and have them recognized for their talents.