CHARLESTON, W.Va. – About 1,200 students from across West Virginia presented their research on various topics on Friday as the West Virginia Department of Education hosted the nation’s only statewide Social Studies Fair at the Charleston Civic Center.
Students in fourth through 12th grade competed in categories that included anthropology; economics; geography; political science; psychology; sociology; government; U.S history; and world history. Students entered about 800 projects, which included 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 countries,” 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.”
West Virginia’s Social Studies Fair moved into the 21st century this year with the addition of technology. For the first time, students used DVD players, laptops, cell phones, hand-held gaming devices, MP3 players, digital photo frames or other technology to enhance their presentations to the judges.
High school students also were invited to bring their entire project on a CD-ROM, DVD or thumb drive with no traditional display board required. The WVDE provided laptops for these students to use to present their projects to the judges.
“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. “With the addition of technology this year, students can demonstrate not only their creativity and knowledge but their grasp of 21st century skills as well.”
Students who competed 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; and interpersonal and self-directional skills.
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. Also visit the Social Studies Fair Web site at http://www.wvssfair.com for additional details.
View gallery of pictures.