KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Nearly 250 students from across East Tennessee came together Friday to compete in the 2017 East Tennessee History Competition. It features the students’ historical research through exhibits, papers, websites and live performances.

The theme this year was “Taking a Stand in History,” so students have been researching interesting social and political movements throughout history. In addition to well-known historic figures like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Ronald Reagan, some students chose to honor East Tennessee heroes like Pat Summitt and Dolly Parton.

“The most important thing is that they choose a topic that’s of interest to them, that they already know something about. And then by the time they finish, they’re the experts. They can almost teach a whole class on it. So it’s great to see them passionate about history,” said Lisa Oakley with the East Tennessee Historical Society.

The winners will move on to Tennessee History Day in Nashville next month.