W.Va. Students Participate in State Social Studies Fair and History Day

April 15, 2014

Charleston, W.Va. — Hundreds of students from across West Virginia presented their research projects on various topics Friday at the Charleston Civic Center in one of the nation’s longest-running statewide social studies fairs. Official results can be found at http://www.wvssfair.com/archive.html.

The fair, sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE), is for students in third through 12th grades. Categories include anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology, sociology, state and local studies, U.S history and world history. Student projects include individual and small group presentations. Only two other states, Louisiana and Georgia, have similar events.

Competing students first won their school and county events and placed first in one of eight 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 also marks National History Day to further enhance student learning. In addition to traditional fair projects or exhibits, the History Day component includes categories for documentaries, performances, websites, and research papers. As a winner of the National History Day portion of the contest, some students will be eligible to attend the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park in June. This is where the best National History Day projects from across the United States, American Samoa, Guam, International Schools and Department of Defense Schools in Europe all meet and compete.

The Social Studies Fair and History Day events are designed to recognize and reward the 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 WVDE 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.

For more information, contact Joey Wiseman, assistant director of Secondary Learning for the West Virginia Department of Education, at 304-558-5325 or the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699. Also visit the Social Studies Fair website at http://www.wvssfair.com for additional details.

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