Students Vie for Top Spot at Nationís Only Social Studies Fair

April 29, 2011

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Hundreds of students from across West Virginia presented their research projects on various topics Friday as part of the nation’s only statewide social studies fair.

The fair, sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Education and conducted at the Charleston Civic Center, is for students in fourth through 12th grades. They compete in categories that include anthropology; economics; geography; international; political science; psychology; sociology; state and local studies; U.S history; and world history. Student projects include individual and small group presentations.

“Social studies play an increasingly important role in today’s global economy where students must develop a greater understanding of the world around them to succeed,” said state Superintendent Jorea Marple. “The fair helps our students to broaden and deepen their understanding of a diverse and ever changing society.”


Competing students first won their school and county events and placed first in one of seven regional fairs 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.  

The West Virginia Department of Education started the fair in 1977 in conjunction with Marshall University and with input from a group of West Virginia social studies teachers. The first fairs were in Huntington and were later moved to Charleston.  

A list of winners is posted on the Social Studies Fair website at

For more information, contact Joey Wiseman, 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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