Brooke students earn medals

WELLSBURG – Several Brooke High School students returned with medals after winning a statewide competition Friday that involved researching social studies-related topics that interested them.

The students were among hundreds who competed in the West Virginia Social Studies Fair and National History Day competition held at the Charleston Civic Center.

Competing as individuals or teams were:

Shelby Wade, who placed first in the economics division for individual competitors for her presentation, “Money Can Grow on Trees,” which considered the economic impact of legalizing recreational marijuana use.

Cassidy Bland, Ryan Mezan, Jackson Carey, Seth Miller and Justin Taflan, who placed first in the economics group division for a presentation titled, “The National Debt: A Solvable Problem.”

Jackson Boyce, who placed first in the political science category for his presentation, “Natural Gas Drilling: Taming the Flame.”

Brice Hickey, who placed second in world history for a presentation on the Battle of the Bulge.

Kylie Greathouse, who received honorable mention in state and local studies for her presentation on early glass in Brooke County.

The students advanced to the state competition after winning first place in their respective categories and divisions at a regional competition held March 23 in Paden City.

Greg Rothwell, social studies chairman at the school and their adviser, said the students could chose subjects in the areas of U.S. history, anthropology, geography, psychology, sociology and international affairs.

Each individual or team was required to submit a brief report stating their findings, supporting evidence and sources. Each individual competitor was required to deliver a five-minute verbal presentation, while team presentations were to be 10 minutes.

Boyce said his presentation on natural gas drilling was inspired by a talk given at the school by a representative of Chesapeake Energy. He said he became interested in what impact environmental regulation has on the industry and its impact, good or bad, on the environment and economy.

Greathouse said while assisting her grandmother, Ruby Greathouse, the unofficial curator of the Brooke County Museum and Cultural Center, she learned about the many glass manufacturers that once existed in the county.

“It was amazing to see the amount of glass that was made in Brooke County and the talent that everyday people working in the glass factories had,” she said.

Rothwell said he’s very pleased with the students’ success. He noted this was the second year Brooke students competed.

Last year Boyce, Miller and Mezan were first-place winners at the state level, while Carey received honorable mention.