BLACKFOOT — Idaho Virtual Academy middle school students, grades six through eight, displayed their language arts projects in the Needlepoint Building on the Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds Friday.
The projects were as varied as the students' interests.
Asked if he was interested in WWII, 14-year-old Jareth McDougel from Fort Hall said, "If it's about WWII or WWII planes, I'm interested."
As part of his project, Jareth displayed WWII model airplanes he had built. He had researched the planes used during that conflict and the men recognized as Aces. His display board showed the flight patterns used to maneuver planes.
His favorite airplane was the P-47.
"[The P-47s] had four-50 caliber machine guns mounted on each wing," Jareth said. "This plane could take a pounding and give more than they got."
Jareth would like to take flying lessons. He said he needs to learn to take off, land and "feel for the plane's stalling points" before he does any fancy flying.
Tate Hillman's knowledge of horses and a horse's anatomy were on display at the science fair. Tate is 14-years-old and lives near Hamer. He is growing up on his family ranch where they run 500 to 550 head of cattle and 130 horses.
Tate, his dad, his two uncles and his grandpa all work this ranch.
"I want to be a vet and a doctor someday," Tate said. "I know a ranch has need of a lot of vet work."
Thirteen-year-old Austin Pugmire from Ucon brought together information about hunting big game.
"Hunters need to be a lot closer when bow hunting," Austin said. "Bow hunters are from 50 to 100 yards away from their prey where a hunter with a rifle can be 400 yards away."
Preston Gull, age 12, from Shelley, explained mitosis—cell division.
"It's interested," Preston said.
When a cell is duplicating itself, the stages it goes through are called Interphase, Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase and Telaphase, Preston explained.
Emma Mecham, age 12, from Firth researched what was available on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo.
"I hope to go to college at BYU," Emma said.
Obin Pitre, age 12, from Pocatello, researched the history of Troy. He displayed a possible Trojan horse.
"The walls of Troy could have come down like the story says or the walls could have come down because of an earthquake," Obin said.
A live chicken was displayed. Other projects explored crystals, calcium, castles and the color of eyes.
One student traced the Holocaust from 1941 through 1945. On display were some pictures from the Holocaust taken at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
The work of Thomas Moran was displayed.
Secret messaging of WWII was explored. Some real German, French and Italian currency was placed between the front and back ends of Monopoly money, the display board read. Baseballs carried radios hidden under leather and chess sets were made into radios.
Each display was judged; each student was questioned about his or her project.
Students earned ribbons for their projects.
The Virtual Academy sponsors language arts fairs in five other locations across Idaho. Besides Blackfoot, language arts fairs are in Jerome, Nampa, Lewiston, Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene.