At the 11th Regional Coal Fair, 241 projects were on display from students in K-12 grades that demonstrated their understanding of how coal is formed, mined and transported, as well as how the industry affects their daily lives. Over the 11-year period, 4,170 projects have been created at the local school level. A total of $63,389 in cash prizes has been awarded to students for performance and $15,832 in cash prizes has been awarded to the school coal fair coordinators (teacher designated by school principal).
Exhibits were entered in seven categories: Art, English/literature, math, music, science, social studies and technology/multimedia. Each category is split into three grade levels K-4, 5-8 and 9-12. In addition to the cash prizes awarded, the students gained a hands-on education in coal and found pride in their strong coal heritage.
During the week of April 30-May 4, approximately 800 visitors toured the projects at the Harless Community Center in Gilbert. Bus tours were scheduled from the participating counties to tour the projects on display. Several winning CEDAR students presented their projects for Tug Valley Mining Institute attendees.
To date, CEDAR and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College have awarded $70,000 in scholarship monies to students from the participating counties.