The annual Margaret Thompson Historical Essay Contest is open to children in grades 3-6.
The theme of this year’s contest is “Native Californians: Food Lessons Learned from the Past and Applications to Today.” The History Museum’s current exhibition, “Seaweed, Salmon and Manzanita Cider: A California Indian Feast,” explores traditional California Indian food sources and the extensive system of environmental knowledge underlying the Indians’ use of food resources. The display highlights the importance and continuing use of native foods in current California Indian communities and examines contemporary issues of eating locally grown foods, sustainability, nutrition and environmental health.
The contest is co-sponsored by the city of Los Altos and the Los Altos History Museum. The city’s Historical Commission and museum members judge hundreds of essays each year. The Los Altos City Council awards prizes to winners at an ice cream social in the garden of the History Museum.
Essay contest winners at each grade level receive $50 for first place, $30 for second place and $20 for third place. All entrants receive a certificate of participation. In addition to individual prizes, the school with the most winners will receive a trophy.