School fair teaches students the importance of Central Texas history

Posted at 4:02 PM, Feb 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-16 17:41:54-05

The Heart of Texas Regional History Fair is in its 30th year, welcoming students from fifth grade to 12th to present projects on American History. This year's theme was the Triumph and Tragedy of American History. 

"How excited they are that they not only are engaging history but they're learning something new," said Steven Sielaff, President of the Board of Trustees H.O.T Regional History Fair. 

Over 300 students and 200 projects were present at the Bill Daniel Student Center at Baylor on Feb. 15. Judges came by to talk to the students about their projects and the importance of them. Some individual and others in groups. 

"Hopefully if we start teaching them the importance of history at a young age, they'll decide to become History majors or minors in college," Sielaff said. 

Caroline Moehlenbrock, a sophomore at Belton New Tech, is on her third year participating in the history fair. This year, she focused on some local Central Texas women who helped shape the roles of women today. 

Focusing on Martha McWhirter and the impact she had on the Belton community being the first woman on the Belton Board of Trades. 

"I've always loved history since I was 3 years old," Moehlenbrock said. 

Moehlenbrock putting months of work into her project, she chose this one because not many knew about Martha McWirter and the role she played on American female history. 

"My project this year is the Sanctify Sisters, which was the first battered women shelter in the state of Texas and it's this important aspect of first way feminism that no one really knows about or talks about," Moehlenbrock said. 

Not even knowing about it herself, until she started the research. Moehlenbrock loves the research aspect of things which is why she loves history and participating in the fair each year. 

"My favorite part is definitely research. I've always been a researcher," Moehlenbrock said. "I love studying I love just knowing every little detail I can."

Students are judged hoping to place in 1st or 2nd to move on to the state competition. Placing 1st or 2nd in state moves the students to the national competition. Almost every year a student that presented work at the Heart of Texas Regional History Fair moves on the final rounds. 

For Moehlenbrock it's not only about learning new things but showing others what she loves most. 

"It gives me a chance to talk and have people learn about something that I'm passionate about," Moehlenbrock said. 

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