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I&M Canal Award

March 17, 2014 0 comments

2016’s History Day Theme is Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History. For some ideas and resources on how to tie the I&M Canal’s history into this theme:

Story of the I&M Canal

2016 Canal History Project Examples

Resources for Canal Research

Established in 1998 to celebrate the canal’s sesquicentennial, the I&M Canal Awards offer cash prizes of up to $300 to outstanding history fair projects in each of the Junior and Senior Divisions at the Illinois History Expo.  Research papers, exhibits, models, performance and media projects are eligible.  To be considered for an I&M Canal Award, history fair project may:

  • Focus on the life and work of individuals associated with the I&M Canal
  • Explore the influence of the Canal on a specific community, industry or business
  • Examine the construction, working or rehabilitation of the canal
  • Study and compare the I&M Canal and its successor waterways
  • or Tackle other topics that illuminate the I&M Canal’s impact

Entries that explore the early and more contemporary history and themes of the I&M Canal are welcome—its up to you to make the connection!

2015 Winner

  •  Oscar Serratos, Oglesby Washington Jr. High. Paper: The I&M Canal: Changing History

2014 Winner

  • Emma Turk, Unity Point School in Carbondale. Paper: The I&M Canal: A Turning Point in Illinois History
  • Juan Pablo Gomez, St. Peter Cathedral School in Rockford. Paper: The History of the I&M Canal

2013 Winners

  • Kristen Rigsby, Taft Academic Center in Chicago. Website: Building Illinois: The Legacof the Illinois & Michigan Canal.
  • Marcus Gonzalez, St. Thomas More Catholic School in Elgin. Paper: I&M Canal: The Best Kept Secret of American History
  • Aaron Kamel, Payton College Prep High School in Chicago. Exhibit: The Foundation of Chicago: The Illinois & Michigan Canal

2011 Winner

  • Marion Guinday, St. Thomas More School in Elgin. Paper: the Reversal of the Chicago River
  • Gannon Druessel, Tri-Valley Middle School in Downs. Paper: Illinois & Michigan Canal

2010 Winner

  • Yanitza Roman, Ogden International School of Chicago-West Campus. Paper: The Illinois & Michigan Canal: The Missing Link
  • Alysa Marie Cox, Zion Lutheran School in Lincoln. Paper: How did the Illinois & Michigan Canal help shape Illinois as we know it today? 

2007 Winner 

  • Annie Liu. Paper: Growth and Expansion: How Chicago Became a City and Successfully Ruined the Surrounding Environment in the Process
  • Jordan Field. Paper: Reversal of the Chicago River
  • David Kochanowicz, St. Laurence High School. Paper: Causes and Effects of the Reversal of the Chicago River

2006 Winner

  • Jacob Bernard, Dimmick School. Paper: I&M Canal
  • Megan Sack, Mendota High School. Paper: We Couldn’t Win Without Them: The Women Welders of the Seneca Prairie Shipyard


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