First Regional Social Studies Fair hosted at PCHS

Lewisburg Elementary School third grader Alden Thomas and his project, focused on the 1970 Marshall plane crash. Alden's great-uncle was a running back with the Thundering Herd and among the 75 passengers killed in the tragedy. A. Jiordano

Lewisburg Elementary School third grader Alden Thomas and his project, focused on the 1970 Marshall plane crash. Alden’s great-uncle was a running back with the Thundering Herd and among the 75 passengers killed in the tragedy.
A. Jiordano

DUNMORE, WV – The Regional Social Studies Fair was hosted at Pocahontas County High School over the weekend. Schools representing Braxton, Fayette, Greenbrier, Nicholas, Pocahontas and Webster counties all participated in the event.
Deb White, of Webster Springs, served as a judge for the fair. She said she was impressed with what she saw on Saturday.

“There were some amazing projects and I was very pleased that the kids are taking ownership for their research and they are validating their sources. They’re making sure that they compare the sources. That was something on every project that I noticed, that they understood how important it was to validate their research.”

White said there’s no better way to engage the students than an event like the social studies fair.

“I think it’s tremendously important, because one, they pick a topic that interests them and they learn research methods, and that is such an important thing, and realize that there are places to get information other than just the Internet.”

Interesting project topics were commonplace on Saturday. Alden Thomas is a third grader at Lewisburg Elementary School. The subject he chose for his presentation focused on a relative he never got a chance to meet.

“I have a really good connection to the Marshall plane crash. My great uncle Barry Winston Nash died in the plane crash. He played running back.”

Alden said he conducted most of his research through his ma-maw and he learned “a bunch of stuff.” Alden’s project placed first in his division and category.

This was actually the first Regional Social Studies Fair to be hosted in Pocahontas County. Alden’s dad Coy Thomas said they’ve been out this way before, and it’s always a pleasant experience.

“We had good friends here in Pocahontas County, and we live in Greenbrier County. So we always enjoy traveling up here. Today was particularly good because of the social studies fair, to see all these great projects.”

All participants that placed first are automatically registered in the State Fair, scheduled for Friday, April 11 at the Civic Center in Charleston.

To see how the Pocahontas County participants placed in the Regional Social Studies Fair, visit our website at

Pocahontas County Winners:

Division I

3rd place, individual, “Faith, Family and Ducks”, Makenna McKenney
1st place, group, “Would you Want “Fowl” Finances?”, Cassidy and Chloe Hardesty

1st place, group, “Surviving the Allegheny Highlands”, Gareth Ryder and Scout Tankersley

Political Science:
1st place, group, “The Berlin Wall: Communism vs. Capitalism”, Rachel Burns and Sarah Warder

1st place, individual, “Name Brand vs. Store Brand: Why Do You Buy?”, Rayna Smith
1st place, group, “Why Do Animals Behave The Way They Do?”, Mary Pauley, Cage Burdette, William Feury

Honorable Mention, individual, “How the African Americans Affected Society with the Blues!”, Emily Wilfong
1st place, group, Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Life of a Pioneer Girl”, Emily Henderson and Lexi Price

State and Local Studies:
3rd place, individual, “The History of Burns Motor Freight”, Sydney Puffenbarger

U.S. History:
1st place, individual, “A Woman Called Moses”, Hannah Buly
2nd place, group, “Harley Davidson”, Kiara Davis and Jennalee Meck

World History:
3rd place, individual, “Titanic: Life or Death”, Sienne Bircher

Division II:

2nd place, individual, “Knock, Knock”, Aspan Holder

3rd place, individual, “Delicious Treat”, Andrea Payton

1st place, individual, “West Virginia Lookout Fire Towers: Guardian of the Forest”, Jacob Jones
2nd place, group, “Unwelcome Guest”, Nathaniel Cottle and Logan Woodruff

1st place, individual, “What are [we] Afraid of… Phobias”, Hunter Wilfong

2nd place, individual, “Phrases”, Meggan Long

State and Local Studies:
1st place, individual, “Forest to Tourist”, Noah Barkley

U.S. History:
1st place, group, “Music in the Mountains”, Patience Garretson and Brianna Hefner

World History:
1st place, individual, “Back of the Plane”, Hunter Tankersley
1nd place, group, “Przewalskis: The Only True Wild Horse”, Tasia Davis and Sage McLaughlin

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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