Russell Kohrs has won the grand prize in the local economic education competition sponsored by the Harrisonburg Rotary Club and the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce for a Broadway High School project.
The winning project was “Concentrating on Copper: An Exploration in Mineral Commodities.” This project combined earth science principles and economic concepts to show students the importance of finite resources.
Since completing the project at Broadway, Kohrs has joined the faculty of the Massanutten Regional Governor’s School for Environmental Science and Technology in Mt. Jackson.
The prize carries a $1,000 cash award. All the local winners were recognized at a meeting of the Rotary Club on October 5.
The reserve grand prize in the competition was won by Allen J. Ruliffson and Kim Fawley of J. Frank Hillyard Middle School.
In the Ruliffson-Fawley project, “Barracuda Barrel,” students learned what the Industrial Revolution was really like by pitching 19th century products to a panel of “Shark Tank”-like judges.
First prize among elementary school projects was won by Laura Thomas of Waterman Elementary School for her “Waterman Elementary Bookstore,” in which fourth graders learned retail skills while helping their fellow students get access to books.
Second place for elementary projects went to Andrea Nolley of Smithland Elementary School for “Decide, Reflect, Revise: Journaling through Mini-Economy.” For Nolley’s project, diverse students in an 11-week after-school program sharpened their writing and entrepreneurship skills in an economy they created.
First place in the middle school division went to Kim Fawley and Allen J. Ruliffson for their project, “Revolution on Animal Farm: Using George Orwell’s Novel to Learn about Communism and the Russian Revolution.”
In the high school division, first place went to Shelley Bryant of Turner Ashby High School for “Child Labor and Migrant Labor Simulation Games.” Bryant’s project used original simulations of labor practices under difficult conditions to help students understand child and migrant labor in real life and in literature.
Second place in the high school division was won by Justin King and Janeen Dofflemeyer of East Rockingham High School for their “Hands-on Market Economy Stations.” This tenth-grade project brought students with diverse abilities together for interactive experiences in economics and personal finance at three learning stations.
Third place in the high school division went to Callie Randolph for work done at Spotswood and East Rockingham high schools. Randolph’s project, “The Candy Trade & the Law of Demand,” taught key concepts in economics with multiple examples using candy.
An additional high school project, “Health Is Wealth: Pedometers Make ¢ents” by Amy Wheeler of Harrisonburg High School, did not place in the competition but received a Judges’ Award of Merit for its use of pedometer clicks to generate economic activities.
Beth Yelverton, librarian at Ottobine Elementary School, was separately recognized as the Shenandoah Region winner in student reading competition that was part of Reading Makes Cent$, a sponsored educational outreach by the Virginia 529 college savings plan.
Economic education locally is supported by Shenandoah Valley Economic Education Inc., a nonprofit organization that combines business and school contributions to fund the field work of the James Madison University Center for Economic Education.