What they may have lacked in numbers, they made up for in hard work and creativity.
Students from two of four counties were missing from the Regional Education Service Agency 3 Social Studies Fair, but coordinator Lisa Lowe was happy with what she saw Tuesday afternoon.
"The students are not only showing these events in the past tense, but rather linking them to the future through global connections," she said.
About 35 or 40 students gathered at West Virginia State University for the fair.
The number could have been as high as 100 if it hadn't just been Boone and Putnam county middle school students in attendance. RESA 3 encompasses Kanawha and Clay counties as well, but neither participated in this year's fair, Lowe said.
Clay County Superintendent Kenneth Tanner couldn't say exactly how long his school system had been absent from the fair, but he did say it had been more than five years since any students participated.
"It's just one of those things that got kind of left aside, and a lot of other things were pushing at the door, I suppose. We may get back into it at some point, but teachers' plates have become pretty full," Tanner said.
Despite the absence of Clay and Kanawha students, there was plenty of enthusiasm among participants.
Students sat around waiting to give their presentations and to be judged. Some spent weeks assembling their colorful display boards and compiling the research accompanying their projects.
Hurricane Middle School students Cassi Sargeant, 14; Madison Casto, 13; and Gracyn Courtright, 14, did a project focusing on the history and profitability of Maybelline complete with a giant mascara brush and a colorful board twinkling with lights.
"We were initially wondering what mascara is made out of; we were just like, 'What are we putting on our eyes,' " Courtright said.