MUSD organizes a photographic history competition

Wendy Alexander / The Madera Tribune

Madera South High School’s Jordan Mattox and Jennifer Sauceda present Karina Alvarado, first-place winner for a landmark essay, with a certificate and $100 prize courtesy of The Madera Tribune.

Madera South High School history teacher Jordan Mattox recently tapped into his educational backpack to create a new Madera Method project and showed high school students in the district that history pays.

Mattox issued a challenge, via the Internet, to all American history students in Madera. It published photographs of two Madera grocery stores – one from the 1880s and the other from the 1930s. Students were asked to compare and contrast historic photographs, looking for clues to suggest how life had changed for Maderans from the Golden Age to the Great Depression.

After reviewing the photos, the students were tasked with writing an essay identifying the differences between the two images and demonstrating how Madera and the United States had changed. Minimum and maximum essay lengths were 750 to 900 words. They had to be typed and then submitted to Mattox electronically.

Mattox spiced up the contest by adding a monetary incentive. The best essay won $100 for the student writer. Second place won $50 and third place won $25. The prize money was donated by The Madera Tribune

The first place winner was Karina Alvarado, a junior from Madera South. Adam Meza placed second and Jessica Pennington third. Meza and Pennington are students at Matilda Torres High School.

Michael E. Marquez