Submitted by Richard Moss, SGA Board Member
The 2015 Georgia State Social Studies Fair was held last weekend on Saturday, April 18th at Clayton State University in Morrow. The Society for Georgia Archaeology (SGA) and Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists (GCPA) proudly sponsor two special prizes awarded each year at the fair, and it was my pleasure to attend and present the awards of $50 and a copy of Frontiers in the Soil to two deserving students!
Students from grades 5 through 12 participate in this annual competition that promotes research skills in social science fields such as anthropology, economics, geography, sociology, political science, and history. The students participating in this event were all chosen for having among the best projects from their respective regional fairs. In addition to competing for awards in each category and class (i.e, grade level), several organizations sponsor special awards like SGA does, including Friends of the Georgia Archives & History and New Georgia Encyclopedia. The SGA and GCPA have been awarding prizes for several years now and have the special distinction of being the first ever organizations to offer a special award at the fair!
It was a joy to walk around and see all the fantastic presentations that obviously took a great deal of effort and creativity. Students covered an array of fascinating topics, many concerning Georgia history in particular, including Andersonville Prison, the historic gold mining industry in Cherokee County, and the Tybee Railroad. While there were many praiseworthy projects, only two award winners could be chosen. The prize winners this year showed a willingness to delve into unfamiliar topics with aplomb and exhibited budding research and interview skills that will undoubtedly serve them well in the future.
Without further ado, the winner of this year’s SGA award is fifth-grader Carrie Grace York of Bremen, Georgia, for her project entitled “The Effects of the Carlisle School on Native Americans,” and the winner of the GCPA award is seventh-grader Sarah Schlueter of Covington, Georgia, for her project: “Who is Buried in the African American Newton County Cemeteries?” Congratulations to both our winners, and thanks to the organizers of the event!