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Middle school students compete in the district's first Civics Fair

Middle school students compete in the district's first Civics Fair
Girl presenting at Civics Fair

On December 12, the Outdoor Learning Center was full of middle school students speaking up and speaking out.

Earlier this semester, students in GT Explorations identified an issue in their community to research. Teams of students researched a range of issues confronting their communities, including air pollution, bullying, homelessness, school safety and productive learning environments. After identifying an innovative solution, students created and implemented their action plan. The semester of research and data collection culminated in the district’s first Civics Fair.

Teams of students had the opportunity to present their findings to a panel of judges who scored them on the issue, research, solution and overall presentation. The top six scoring teams will participate in the DFW Regional Speak Up Speak Out Competition on January 12 at UT Arlington. These students are competing for the chance to take their solution to the State Civics Fair at UT Austin in March. Winners at the state level will receive funding to support their solution.

These teams are going to the DFW Regional Speak Up Speak Out Competition in January:

Campus Topic Teacher Students
Worthington Awareness Around Us Andrea Folse

Mason Edwards
Noah Acevedo
Ethan Herndon
Cadhla Kachur
Elijah Alijos
Ava Holland

Medlin Care for the Air Tracy Gallagher

Alyssa Crofoot
Kaitlyn Hua
Madi Price
Olivia Ulrich

Adams Providing Necessities for Underprivileged Students Gabe Berumen

Ronin Fresh
Cohen Maples
Lottie LeMasters
Myles Jernigan
Rodner Reyes Rivera

Adams Minimizing Pollution Gabe Berumen

Kaden Steen
Madden Andrews
Easton Jansen
Christian Montelongo
Mason Josephson

Wilson School Safety, Protecting our Future Cindy Trimble

Ethan Nowell
Elijah Alexander
Kamani McGowan
Harris Carson

Tidwell Project H.E.L.P. Brandy Downe

Livia Virmani
Emma Nix
Lexie Butley
Lucas Dale

students watching a presentation at the Outdoor Learning Center

Additionally, two teams were awarded special recognitions. The Awareness Around Us team from Worthington earned the Creative Expression Designation for a successful implementation of their solution. They included data and statistics, as well as teacher testimonials and cultural references. The team School Drools Hybrid Rules from Wilson earned an award for outstanding research and data usage. They initially surveyed students to gather data, but they also incorporated district and national data which led to their solution.

The NISD Civics Fair is based on Speak Up Speak Out, an innovative civic education program designed to teach students about their communities and equip them with the tools to make a difference. Speak Up Speak Out is a part of the curriculum for GT Explorations, an elective for gifted learners in middle school.

Additional photos from the Civics Fair can be found on the district's Flickr page.