Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) will host more than 470 students at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center as part of the 2023 West Virginia Social Studies Fair on Friday, April 14, 2023. The event begins with the opening ceremony at 9:30 a.m. with a backdrop of more than 300 individual and group projects. West Virginia’s event is one of the nation’s first and longest-running statewide social studies fairs.

This year, 37 counties are participating. Students in grades 3 through 12 have entered projects in categories including anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology, sociology, state and local studies, U.S. history and world history. There are more student entries in 2023 than there have been in recent memory.

Competing students at the state level won their school, county and regional events, placing first in their respective divisions, category and project type. Projects are judged on oral presentation, theme and research, and display and abstract.

The West Virginia Social Studies Fair is designed to recognize and reward outstanding achievements of social studies students and encourage students to enhance their research, communication skills, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, and interpersonal and self-directional development.

“It is rewarding to see the response to this year’s Social Studies Fair with more than 300 entries and 470 students,” said State Superintendent of Schools David L. Roach. “This level of participation represents the enthusiasm and value students, teachers and families find in the Fair. This is an example of experiential learning that students will remember for the rest of their lives.”

The WVDE launched 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, the event schedule and official results visit the West Virginia State Social Studies Fair website.

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