Students put research to use at social studies fair
HUNTINGTON -- More than 88 social studies projects filled the Big Sandy Superstore Arena Conference Center Wednesday morning during the RESA II Social Studies Fair.
The annual event features projects researched and assembled by students from Cabell, Mason, Mingo and Wayne counties. Their work this year ranged in topic from moonshine and Marshall University to World War II and coal camps. The projects at the regional fair were the divisional winners from their county fairs.
The fair provides students with the opportunity to dig a little deeper into their favorite topics while learning research and presentation skills, said Lenora Richardson, director of curriculum and assessment with Cabell County Schools.
"It's no longer a report stuck up on the board," Richardson said. "It's looking at cause and effect or compare and contrast, asking how certain events have changed history. It's much more in-depth than we've done in the past."
Rachel Campbell, an instructional coach with the school system, served as a judge. She said the judges were looking for a couple of key features in each student's presentation.
"We're looking for kids who are very confident in the information that they are presenting, who are very enthusiastic about it," Campbell said. "We love to see the kids bring a personal aspect into it, maybe a family aspect or just a personal interest, just to see that they've delved deep into that topic."
Katie Copley and Sarah Dillon, fifth-grade students at Crum Elementary School, said they dug deep into their grandparents' closets and family history for their project, titled "Mountain Mama: Then and Now."
This year marked the first social studies fair in 20 years for Wayne County, and Copley and Dillon were excited to make it to the regional fair.
Their project compared the daily responsibilities of early Appalachian women to modern-day Appalachia.
Copley dressed as a woman from the past, and Dillon represented a modern Appalachian woman.
"My great-grandmother, my grandmother and mother, we're all Appalachian women," Dillon said. "That is why we picked this."
Copley said she learned a lot by talking to her relatives.
"Instead of Googling it or looking at Yahoo or in our textbooks, we can look down through our ancestors through our grandmothers," she said. "They can tell us more history about our families and about Appalachian women in general."
The winning projects will move on to the West Virginia Social Studies Fair, which is scheduled for Friday, April 11, at the Charleston Civic Center.
Follow Reporter Lacie Pierson on Twitter, @LaciePiersonHD.
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