A team of Logan Middle School students walked away from the annual Coal Education Development and Resource (CEDAR) Coal Fair with first place awards for their category and overall Technology/Multimedia. The team is made up of eigth-grade students Abby Lee, Jarrett Adkins, Mannie Nelson, Jacelyn Cohavatan and Hannah Ellis.
Logan Middle School also garnered second place for a coal miner they submitted in the art category. The students who were part of that team were Tomi Nelson, Leeann Tomblin, Jenna Meade and Jennifer Cashdollar.
Principal Ernestine Sutherland said she’s proud of the coal miner, which will be on display at the school, “It’s part of our heritage and I want the students to learn about our heritage.”
“I am so proud of the students, of the work they did and the knowledge they gained. I so am proud of both teams,” said Sutherland, “I had the video played on the closed-circuit television so all the students could see it. I am hoping seeing the coal miner and the video will motivate others to get involved and submit projects next year.
K-12 students from 14 schools in Mingo, Logan, Boone, McDowell, Wyoming and Wayne counties submit projects to increase knowledge and understanding of the benefits the coal industry provides in daily life .
Judging takes place during the week-long event and the winners are honored with a luncheon banquet on Saturday and receive their awards. Some submissions are individual, others are submitted by a team of students.
When asked how the team came up with the concept, team member Hannah Ellis said teacher Garron Staten encouraged the team to do the project and submit it in the Coal Fair.
“Mr. Staten doesn’t just lecture us in class, he uses models, toys and other things to show us how things work,” said Ellis, “One day, we were playing with some Legos and we got the idea of making a coal movie and Mr. Staten said why don’t you enter it in the Coal Fair.”
Ellis explained it took three weeks to complete the project. One week to set it up and two weeks to take the nearly 5,000 photographs, film and put everything together.
“Jarrett was the filmer and adjuster of the camera,” said Ellis.
Jarrett Adkins said it was a lot of work, “I had a lot to do with the airport scene with the helicopter coming in.”
The two say they want to enter a project in the Coal Fair next year and are hoping someone will volunteer to be a sponsor for Logan High School.
Ellis said,”We will be in high school next year, but there’s a problem. You have to have a sponsor to submit a project and that’s why they didn’t submit any projects this year. We really want to do this again next year.”
“We want to do something else next year,” said Adkins, “Just because we won this year, doesn’t mean we will next year. We will have to have a better project next year and work ten times harder.”
Ellis added, “We don’t want to repeat this project. We will have to be more creative.”
Coal Fair Manager Debbie Mudd said she was amazed by the project, “I couldn’t believe it was put together by a team of eighth-grade students, but when they were explaining how they did it and were so excited about it, I knew they had done it.”
Mudd and CEDAR President Georgene Robertson say they don’t have any input into the process and said the judges had a difficult task this year.
Mudd said, “There are so many impressive projects the students put so much hard work into, it wasn’t surprising some of the scores were incredibly close.”
“I am so proud of the team. They worked hard and they did it all,” said Staten, “I was just the go-to person they went to when they got stuck and needed a little direction.”
The two students are hoping Mr. Staten will win the competition for the lesson plan he submitted.
“I won second place last year. This year it would be great to take first,” said Staten, “I entered the plan I created and used, which is a study unit based on coal.”
The winner of that competition will be announced at an event to be held at the Logan Country Club on May 13.
For more information regarding CEDAR of Southern West Virginia, contact Georgene Robertson at 304/792-8433 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Facebook page Cedar of Southern WV, which also has a complete list of all the winners.