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Health Sciences Academy eighth-graders win top prize at Joplin Regional History Contest

May 18, 2022

Civil War presentation

Four eighth-graders from the Health Sciences Academy @ Mercy entered into the National History Day in Missouri contest. As part of their competition season, they were selected as winners of a top local prize -- the Joplin Regional History Prize Contest.

HSA students Hailey Hakan, Lydia Poppen, Catie Pearcy and Jackson Shaw together produced a documentary, "To Stay or Secede: Missouri's Role in The Civil War." A major portion of this documentary focused on the early battles in and around Carthage, Missouri, which are often overlooked from the national perspective.

"This is the fourth year that we have sponsored a special statewide prize linked to Jasper and Newton Counties," said Paula Callihan, Historic Murphysburg Preservation board member. "Our goal is to make history interesting and relevant to young people."

As winners in the contest, the four were given a $100 award -- a prize they immediately donated to a cause and fundraiser, also created by Health Science Academy students.