History Fair Competition
Understanding history is vital to understanding ourselves as a people and as a nation.
History is much more than the study of dusty old objects and events long past. It is an essential part of who we are today and who we will become. Thornton Middle School History Fair Competition makes understanding history exciting, engaging, and fun！
This Year’s Theme
All participants must address how communication or transportation technology has promoted the quality of life for Americans throughout history. To many people, technology means computers, hand-held devices, or vehicles that travel to distant planets. However, technology is also the application of scientific knowledge to solve a problem, touching lives in countless ways.
Individuals or groups may enter one of the following categories：
Performance: A dramatic presentation of the topic no more than 10 minutes long. If special clothes are used，they should truly represent a given period.
Documentary: A visual presentation（such as a video，slide show，or computer project）no more than 10 minutes long. A desktop computer, screen, projector, and loudspeakers will be available. Students must provide their presentations on CDs before Friday, March 23.
Essay Writing: An academic paper of 2，000 to 2，500 words. No illustrations（图解）are allowed. Please do not include covers. A list of references must be included.
January 5 Submit a topic proposal to your history teacher. The teacher may require a second proposal if the first is off-topic or unclear.
February 5 Submit a first draft of your essay，performance script（剧本），or documentary highlights.
February 19 A committee of teachers will evaluate materials and give opinions. Students then have an opportunity to improve their products.
March 9 Submit a final draft of your essay.
March 15 Performance and documentary committee preview
March 24 Thornton Middle School History Fair Competition
7：00 A. M—9：00A. M Participants signing in at the gym
10：00 A. M. —6：00PM. Competition and judges’ review
7：00 P.M. Awards ceremony and picnic
36. According to Paragraph 1, what is the major goal of understanding history?
37. What is the theme of this year’s competition?
38. Among the items provided by the school for a visual presentation are __________.
39. What would a participant have to do with an essay of 1,500 words to meet the category requirement?
40. What will the committee of teachers do on February 19?
How does an ecosystem（生态系统）work？What makes the populations of different species the way they are？Why are there so many flies and so few wolves？To find an answer, scientists have built mathematical models of food webs, noting who eats whom and how much each one eats.
With such models，scientists have found out some key principles operating in food webs. Most food webs，for instance，consist of many weak links rather than a few strong ones. When a predator（掠食动物）always eats huge numbers of a single prey（猎物），the two species are strongly linked；when a predator lives on various species，they are weakly linked. Food webs may be dominated by many weak links because that arrangement is more stable over the long term. If a predator can eat several species，it can survive the extinction（灭绝）of one of them. And if a predator can move on to another species that is easier to find when a prey species becomes rare，the switch allows the original prey to recover. The weak links may thus keep species from driving one another to extinction.
Mathematical models have also revealed that food webs may be unstable，where small changes of top predators can lead to big effects throughout entire ecosystems. In the 1960s，scientists proposed that predators at the top of a food web had a surprising amount of control over the size of populations of other species---including species they did not directly attack.
And unplanned human activities have proved the idea of top-down control by top predators to be true. In the ocean，we fished for top predators such as cod on an industrial scale，while on land，we killed off large predators such as wolves. These actions have greatly affected the ecological balance.
Scientists have built an early-warning system based on mathematical models. Ideally，the system would tell us when to adapt human activities that are pushing an ecosystem toward a breakdown or would even allow us to pull an ecosystem back from the borderline. Prevention is key，scientists says because once ecosystems pass their tipping point（临界点），it is remarkably difficult for them to return.
46. What have scientists discovered with the help of mathematical models of food webs？
47. A strong link is found between two species when a predator______.
48. What will happen if the populations of top predators in a food web greatly decline？
49. What conclusion can be drawn from the examples in Paragraph 4？
50. How does an early-warning system help us maintain the ecological balance？
Would you BET on the future of this man？He is 53 years old. Most of his adult life has been a losing struggle against debt and misfortune. A war injury has made his left hand stop functioning，and he has often been in prison. Driven by heaven-knows-what motives，he determines to write a book.
The book turns out to be one that has appealed to the world for more than 350 years. That former prisoner was Cervantes, and the book was Don Quixote（《堂吉诃德》）. And the story poses an interesting question: why do some people discover new vitality and creativity to the end of their days，while others go to seed long before？
We've all known people who run out of steam before they reach life's halfway mark. I'm not talking about those who fail to get to the top. We can't all get there. I'm talking about people who have stopped learning on growing because they have adopted the fixed attitudes and opinions that all too often come with passing years.
Most of us, in fact, progressively narrow the variety of our lives. We succeed in our field of specialization and then become trapped in it. Nothing surprises us. We lose our sense of wonder. But，if we are willing to lean，the opportunities are everywhere.
The things we learn in maturity seldom involve information and skills. We learn to bear with the things we can't change. We learn to avoid self-pity. We learn that however much we try to please，some people are never going to love us-an idea that troubles at first but is eventually relaxing.
With high motivation and enthusiasm，we can keep on learning. Then we will know how important it is to have meaning in our life. However, we can achieve meaning only if we have made a commitment to something larger than our own little egos（自我）, whether to loved ones, to fellow humans, to work, or to some moral concept.
Many of us equate（视…等同于）“commitment” with such “caring” occupations as teaching and nursing. But doing any ordinary job as well as one can is in itself an admirable commitment. People who work toward such excellence—whether they are driving a truck, or running a store-make the world better just by being the kind of people they are. They've learned life's most valuable lesson.
51. The passage starts with the story of Cervantes to show that_________.
52. What does the underlined part in Paragraph 3 probably mean？
53. What could be inferred from Paragraph 4？
54. What does the author intend to tell us in Paragraph 5？
55. What is the author's purpose in writing the passage？
I was ready to pay for my bananas at the grocery one night, when fearseized me. My wallet was gone. I could only have left it on the G9 bus, whichwas now speeding in the dark to some 16 station.
The 17 momentwas quickly followed by mental math. How much time and money would it cost toreplace the 18 ofthat little wallet? The credit cards, the driver’s license, the cash, all lostto the bus.
Two hours later, back at my house, I heard a knock on the door. Myhusband 19 itwhile I was on the phone in the dining room. "Does Jennifer live here？" I heard alady say. In my husband’s hand was my wallet, with not a penny 20 .She left before I could 21 makeit to the door to offer my thanks.
After sharing the story online, I heard from someone, who 22 the lady as Erin Smith. Without 23 ,I called to thank her. She said she 24 my wallet on a bus seat. She 25 that going to a stranger’s house was a 26 move, but she decided to take the chance."If I were in that 27 . I would want someone to try to find me,"she said.
This one stranger responded beautifully to my small 28 ,but she actually wasn’t the only one. Right after Erin 29 my wallet on the bus, she posted a picture ofmy driver’s license to an online forum（论坛）, trying to see 30 anyone knew me. No sooner did she leave mydoorstep than I had emails from two women whose kids go to my son’s nursery andwho recognized my face. I’ve never 31 words with those moms beyond small tall, butthey wanted to help. I read that people are more divided than ever, but that’snot how the people I 32 tendto act.
33 ,I feel blessed someone had wanted to help a stranger. Erin had gone 34 what almost anyone would have done, finding myhouse on a bitterly cold night, and for that I was extremely 35 .
16. A. accessible B.hidden C. unknown D. convenient
17. A. face-saving B.brain-washing C. eye-catching D. heart-stopping
18. A. parts B.contents C. details D.ingredients
19. A. ignored B. answered C.examined D. interrupted
20. A. missing B.returned C. remaining D.abandoned
21. A. still B.ever C. yet D.even
22. A. selected B.appointed C. identified D.defined
23. A. delay B. alarm C.regret D. invitation
24. A. moved B. placed C.opened D. spotted
25. A. disagreed B.complained C. calculated D.recommended
26. A. selfless B.risky C. slow D. personal
27. A. site B.direction C. situation D.atmosphere
28. A. crisis B.danger C. threat D. failure
29. A. got rid of B.made use of C. had control of D. took possession of
30. A. if B. where C.how D. when
31. A. recalled B.exchanged C. repeated D. whispered
32. A. encounter B.follow C. consult D. accompany
33. A. Going away B. Turning around C.Looking back D. Coming along
34. A. into B.against C. over D. beyond
35. A. longing B. enthusiastic C.concerned D. grateful
I must have always known reading was very important because the first memories I have as a child deal with books. There was not one night that I don’t remember mom reading me a storybook by my bedside. I was extremely inspired by the elegant way the words sounded.
I always wanted to know what my mom was reading. Hearing mom say, "I can’t believe what’s printed in the newspaper this morning," made me want to grab it out of her hands and read it myself. I wanted to be like my mom and know all of the things she knew. So I carried around a book, and each night, just to be like her, I would pretend to be reading.
This is how everyone learned to read. We would start off with sentences, then paragraphs, and then stories. It seemed an unending journey, but even as a six-year-old girl I realized that knowing how to read could open many doors. When mom said," The C-A-N-D-Y is hidden on the top shelf," I knew where the candy was. My progress in reading raised my curiosity, and I wanted to know everything. I often found myself telling my mom to drive more slowly, so that I could read all of the road signs we passed.
Most of my reading through primary, middle and high school was factual reading. I read for knowledge, and to make A’s on my tests. Occasionally, I would read a novel that was assigned, but I didn’t enjoy this type of reading. I liked facts, things that are concrete. I thought anything abstract left too much room for argument.
Yet, now that I’m growing and the world I once knew as being so simple is becoming more complex, I find myself needing a way to escape. By opening a novel, I can leave behind my burdens and enter into a wonderful and mysterious world where I am now a new character. In these worlds I can become anyone. I don’t have to write down what happened or what technique the author was using when he or she wrote this. I just read to relax.
We’re taught to read because it’s necessary for much of human understanding. Reading is a vital part of my life. Reading satisfies my desire to keep learning. And I’ve found that the possibilities that lie within books are limitless.
41. Why did the author want to grab the newspaper out of mom’s hands?
42. According to Paragraph 3, the author’s reading of road signs indicates ___________.
43. What was the author’s view on factual reading?
44. The author takes novel reading as a way to___________.
45. What could be the best title for the passage?
Haze Mabry, who has worked as a school keeper for thirteen years，walks into theschool building every day and empties garbage cans, wipes down bathrooms andmops wet messes in the hallways.
Last Friday, after he arrived at the school, instead of finding garbageto clean up, he found almost 800 students lining the hallways with handmadecards, blowing noisemakers and singing a full-throated happy birthday to him.It was his 80th. As he walked the long hallway, some popped out of lime to hughim. They handed him so many cards that they filled several large boxes.Touched by their enthusiastic expression of affection. Mabry thanked themall. "They're like my children，"Mabry said.
On a regular day，students at the school sometimes come up to him to saythey're not feeling well or other times to tell him about something thathappened at break. He knows most of the kids at the school, but can't name eachone. Some of them make him know them. Like Faith, who often forgets herbackpack in the cafeteria，and Lucy，who just wants ahug.
“He won't brag（夸耀）on himself, but it doesn't matter what he's doing or where heis, he will always stop what he's doing to take care of a child if that childis having a bad day. If a child approaches him，he will pause to give thatchild his undivided attention. He's the most loved one in this building，"said LoriGilreath，a reading teacher.
Mabry works circles around all the students, cleaning up messes othersdon't want to touch. He doesn't expect a lot. Mabry said he hadn't planned todo much for his milestone birthday, so he was happy the students had preparedthe surprise celebration.
Over the weekend, he worked through the piles of handmade cards at hishouse. One card from a student stood out to him. It read: “Mr. Haze，you are mysunshine.”
56. What is Mabry's daily work as a school keeper？（no more than 5words）
57. How did the students celebrate Mabry's birthday？（no more than 15words）
58. What does the underlined word in Paragraph 2probably mean？（1 word）
59. Why is Mabry's presence at the school important？（no more than 10words）
60. Who is the "sunshine” in your life？Please explain. （no more than 20words）
I'm Li Jim，a student at Chenguang HighSchool.
Thank you for your time.