By JULIA ROBERTS GOAD
PIKEVILLE, Ky. - Students in Eastern Kentucky recently competed for prizes while learning and educating others about the leading industry in the area.
Coal Education, Development and Research (CEDAR) is a not-for-profit corporation formed in July 1993 as a partnership between the coal industry, business community and academia.
CEDAR works to educate the public about the many benefits the coal Industry provides in our daily lives by providing financial resources and coal education materials to implement its study in the school curriculum.
The group targets students in grades K-12 in all schools in Eastern Kentucky counties.
Recently the 2012 CEDAR fair was held at the University of Pikeville gymnasium in Pikeville. Thirty-six schools were represented by a total of 528 projects. Categories for the fair were: science, mathematics, art, music, English/literature, technology and multi-media and social studies.
All schools in Eastern Kentucky hold a CEDAR fair, and the top projects at each school are selected to go to Pikeville.
The projects are judged by a panel of three people in each category: a professional from the industry, a person currently working in mining, and an educator. None of the judges are local persons, in order to keep the competition on a level playing field.
Projects are submitted in three grade levels, kindergarten through 4th-grade, 5th through 8th, and 9th through 12th. Three winners at each level are selected in each category, for a total of 63 winners at the fair.
Each project is judged with 100 points possible, with cash prizes based on performance. At the school level, first place projects receive $1.25 per point, second place $1 per point, and .75 per point for third place entries.
At the regional level, the prize amounts go up, to $4 per point for first place, $3 for second, and $2 per point for third place winners.
Those regional winners, and the first place fair winner, will be announced at the awards luncheon to be held Saturday in Pikeville.
The student with the first place overall place project will win an all expense paid trip to Myrtle Beach for the North Carolina Coal Institute’s Summer Trade Seminar, where the winner will be presented with a check for $1,000. With the prize money included, the value of the trip is over $2,800.
Karen Hamilton, with CEDAR, said the fair grows every year.
“This is our 19th Annual Fair, and we had a record breaking number of projects,” Hamilton said. “It is so impressive that, after so many years, we still have such enthusiasm from the schools and the students.”
Hamilton said that, with seven categories for projects, students can enter in a field of their particular interest.
“The students excitement, and the pride and work that go into their projects, makes us very proud,” Hamilton said. “Just when you think they can’t possibly do any better, they top themselves.”
For a complete list of winners, visit www.cedarinc.org/coalfairresults.