Green Bank Students Participate In Competitions

In his Board of Education report last week, Tim Walker mentioned Pocahontas County students who had participated in state and regional social studies competitions, and I recently had an opportunity to speak with some of them.

“Hello, my name is Nadiya Kerr, and I’m a seventh grade student at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School. Today I’m going to tell you about my Social Studies Fair project that went to States’ – it’s about Madam C.J. Walker.”

“Madam C.J. Walker was the first self-made female millionaire in the US. She basically was a self-made millionaire, meaning that she came from nothing and she made her own riches and her wealth.”

“How did she do that?”

“So she started with $2.00, and she made her own pomade mixture, which helped to revolutionize haircare for African American men and women because of their hair texture. Because at the time, there was no treatments that could actually care for the hair that didn’t straighten their hair.”

“What made you decide to do your project on Ms. Walker?”

“Well, I like Ms. Walker, because I relate a lot to her, because she’s self-made and she basically made all of her opportunities herself. I relate to her because I want to be somewhere one day – I want to be big and I have to make all my opportunities myself because, I come from an area that’s kind of lower down.“

“What opportunities are you already working on for yourself?”

“So I like to write and so I enter myself into a lot of writing contests. I also like to read, so I read a lot and I also just like talking, like I am right now.”

She talked more about her experience, and her future presentation plans.

“So the Social Studies Fair was at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center. It was on April 14th. I placed fourth overall for my category. But while I was at Charleston, I also learned a lot more about my heritage and my culture because I went to the State Museum.”

“Well, I’m thinking about doing something more local. So maybe something about my grandparents or a war that was actually fought West Virginia –  something like that.”

Competing in regional competition – “Hello, my name is Keiara Vandevander and I’m in the seventh grade and I go to Greenbank Elementary- Middle School.”

She talked about her presentation –

“I did it on West Virginia bear hunting. And the reason I did it was because I’m, like, a big bear hunter. And I love bear hunting and I know tons about it and I interviewed some people, DNRs and stuff. And that’s how I got there. I’ve did a board since, like, second grade.”

  • and why she enjoys bear hunting.

“It just makes me feel myself, and my dad’s it since he was like, younger, like my age, and he just introduced me to it and I fell in love with it. I help track the dogs and harvest the bear.”

She explained the process of training hunting dogs –

“Well usually you can buy, like a dog from, like a person that, like a really good dog. And then you could get like puppies and stuff and then you could train the puppies off of that good dog. You just take them like, hunting with other dogs and they usually like, start to catch on and copy the other dog.”

– and what her experience in the competition was like.

“Well, when I got there, there was like, around 100-some people, and there was like two people in my category and I was competing against another person that was doing West Virginia State Fair. And I lost by one point.”

She also had some more bear knowledge to share.

“An average adult black bears about 35 inches, aka 89 centimeters tall at its shoulder. It weighs between 200 and 400 pounds.”

Speaking of knowledge, I also spoke with a young lady who participated in State Science Fair competition about her presentation.

“I’m Madelyn Rittenhouse in fourth grade from Green Bank Elementary School.”

“It’s about ‘Does it take more weight to pull down a helium balloon and warm air or cold air?’.”

“The way I had to figure it out is, I was tinkering around with some different projects and I found a helium balloon and a bunch of paper clips, and decided to kind of go from there. My experiments showed that it took more weight to pull down a helium balloon in cold air.”

“So it was in Charleston Coliseum Center, and I got first place. There was like a couple-hundred projects there. There’s like, five other people besides me in my category, which is very nice compared to what I’m used to.”

Chuck Niday, take note – I may have found your replacement when I asked about her career plans.

“Well, I would like to be an astronomer but who knows where I’ll get at that point.”

“Would you like to work at the Green Bank Observatory?”


Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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