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W.Va. Students Display Talent and Interest at Nation’s Only Social Studies Fair

May 02, 2007

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – About 1,400 students from across West Virginia will present their research on various topics when the West Virginia Department of Education hosts the nation’s only statewide Social Studies Fair at the Charleston Civic Center on Friday, May 4.  

Students in grades 4-12 compete in categories that include anthropology; economics; geography; political science; psychology; sociology; state and local government; U.S history; and world history. This year, students from 35 counties entered 900 projects, which include individual, pair and class presentations.  

“Social studies play an increasingly important role in today’s global economy where students are not only competing with students in other states but those in other counties,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “As we move forward with our 21st Century Learning initiative, events like this are more important than ever in helping prepare students to live in a diverse and ever changing society.”  

Students who compete at the state Social Studies Fair first won their school and county events in their respective division, category and project type. Projects are judged on oral presentation; theme and research; display; and abstract.  

The Social Studies Fair is designed to recognize and reward outstanding achievements of social studies students and encourage students to practice 21st century skills, including information and communication skills; critical thinking and problem-solving skills; interpersonal and self-directional skills.  

“The state Social Studies Fair offers students the chance to demonstrate their knowledge on various subjects on a much larger scale,” said Regina Scotchie, social studies coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education. “It’s so wonderful to see such creative and knowledgeable projects.”  

Students have two hours Friday beginning at 9 a.m. to set up their projects, with Superintendent Paine to open the event at noon. Judging is set for 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The public is invited to view projects from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with awards beginning at 7 p.m.  

For more information, contact Regina Scotchie, social studies coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education, at (304) 558-5325 or the Communications Office at (304) 558-2699.

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