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Students get ‘social’

Elkins Middle School conducts Social Studies fair

December 6, 2012
By Beth Christian Broschart - Staff Writer ( , The Inter-Mountain

Students at Elkins Middle School pushed up their sleeves, pulled out their research skills, and put together their presentations for the social studies fair, held Wednesday evening at the school. Thirty-one projects were entered for judging.

Sixth-grade student Liam Gongola explained his entry title, "How about a cup of coffee."

"It was interesting to find out the health benefits of drinking coffee and how it affects our health," Gongola said. "I also learned about how coffee was discovered and more about the coffee industry."

Article Photos

The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Elkins Middle School students present their social studies projects for judging Wednesday evening at the school cafeteria. Sixth-grader Shaylen Chenoweth, above, chose the changing role of veterinarians as her topic because she loves animals and hopes to be a veterinarian.

Gongola said a goat herder long ago watched his animals eating the coffee berries, and observed how the goats would become jumpy from the caffeine.

"The herder gave the beans to the local priest and he boiled them, thus making coffee," Gongola said.

Alyssa Thompson, an eighth-grade student, described her project on "Pennsylvania Dutch: Amish Life."

"We went to Amish country and I found it interesting that they live so differently than we do," Thompson said. "It was fun and I learned more about the Amish."

Rich Carr, principal of Elkins Middle School, said the social studies fair is a great opportunity for students to display their knowledge.

"Students also have the opportunity to showcase their work ethic in developing many interesting presentations about a wide variety of topics," Carr said. "This event provides them the opportunity to receive recognition for their hard work and their educational process. Parents get to see what our kids are doing. These projects bring the students, teachers and parents together. I am proud of everyone who participated."

Jacob Earle, an eighth-grade student, completed his project on "Effects of the Arab Spring."

"I chose this subject because in Mrs. Davis' seventh-grade, we learned about the Middle East," Earle said. "The subject intrigued me and I started doing research and learned about the Arab Spring, which really began Dec. 18, 2010. College students in these countries are unhappy with their government. They do not have the right to vote and they are trying to get their voices heard."

Shaylen Chenoweth completed her project about her favorite subject: animals.

"I have loved animals as long as I can remember," Chenoweth said. "I chose to research and report on the changing role of veterinarians."

Chenoweth said she hopes to be a veterinarian when she grows up, and enjoyed learning about the changes and the history of veterinarians.

"It was a fun project," she said. "The hardest part was coordinating my schedule with Dr. Lammie to complete an interview."

Eighth grade social studies instructor Rose Blake said participation in the Elkins Middle School Social Studies Fair is voluntary.

"We are excited to have 31 projects in the fair," Blake said. "I love to see the different ideas the students come up with and how they bring their ideas to life. The organizational and research skills utilized by these students will help them with their junior papers and senior projects in high school, presentations in high school and college and on thesis papers in college."

First place winners in each category will advance to the county level. The county social studies fair is slated for Feb. 12 at the Beverly Fire Hall.



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