MASON — Six Mason County students won first-place awards in the high school Regional Social Studies Fair last week, and will now advance to the state competition.
Baylee Hoffman and Isaiah Pauley won as individual entrants, while Christopher Hesson and Brycen Oliver, and Mikenzie Warth and Matt Wood won in the pairs division. All are students at Wahama High School.
The regional fair was in Huntington and included exhibits from the RESA II counties of Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo and Wayne. The state competition will be April 15 at the Charleston Civic Center. Along with having exhibits, the students must do an oral presentation on their subject and answer questions from the judges.
Teacher Dan Morhardt, who accompanied the students to the regional event, said, “The students worked hard over the previous months refining their projects and practicing their presentations. We had a wide variety of topics and are very proud of their work and accomplishments.”
From the Bible to serial killers, the four projects moving on are very diverse. Hoffman’s project is “Evolution of Dairy Farming,” while Pauley’s is “History of a Mystery: The Journey of the Ark of the Covenant.” Wood and Warth will present “America’s First Serial Killer” and Oliver and Hesson will present “The Atrocities of Dachau.”
“It’s always exciting to see their projects and what their interests are,” said Catherine Hamm, social studies teacher at Wahama. “They learn so much about historical inquiry, public speaking and how to assemble their research. It is so beneficial to them as students, and it certainly gives them an opportunity to shine.”
According to the West Virginia State Social Studies Fair website, the fair provides students the opportunity to excel in the realms of: asking essential questions; recognizing patterns of behavior; thinking critically; creating solutions; predicting outcomes; and drawing conclusions to help them solve problems.
Judging at the state competition will be ongoing throughout the day. The public may view the exhibits at 4:30 p.m., prior to the awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.