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Menahga students explore their interests for school fair

Sixth grader DJ Paulson's display showcased Barack Obama's political and personal events. (Photos by Riham Feshir / Enterprise)1 / 2
Laura Niska's new puppy Mia was the story behind her project. She's interested in helping animals from the Headwaters Animal Shelter find a home.2 / 2

DJ Paulson may not be old enough to vote yet, but he's inspired by the nation's 44th president.

The sixth grader, along with the rest of his class at Menahga School, displayed a variety of projects at this year's Interest Fair Wednesday.

"I just think he's very cool," DJ said of Barack Obama.

DJ's interest in Obama's politics as well as his personal life motivated him to complete his project.

He displayed all kinds of visuals he found through research; from Inauguration photos to other pictures of the president bowling with his family.

"See, he even likes to bowl...," DJ said as he pointed at one of the photos.

District secretary Deb Lenzen said in the past, the fair used to cover science topics only, but this year, it was a broader event that showcased fifth and sixth graders' interests.

Some students were inspired by life experiences.

Shayna Blair lost her grandmother to emphysema disease, which can be caused by smoking. She learned more about causes and prevention while putting together her project.

Fifth grader Laura Niska told a story of adopting her puppy Mia from the Headwaters Animal Shelter by displaying photos of her new dog and explaining to visitors how it all happened. She also encouraged people to become members, donate and adopt from the animal shelter.

Kirsten Tolkkinen's interest in photography inspired her to display vintage cameras as well as new digital ones. She prefers using digital, she said.

Connor Bettin has a few years ahead of him before he can start learning how to drive, but he already picked out his favorite car.

A 2009 Dodge Viper was the inspiration for his project.

Megan Huhta's older sister will be moving to Alaska soon after she's married, so she decided to learn more about the state, although she said she wouldn't be visiting any time soon.

Walking by and admiring every student's project, elementary principal Joleen DeLaHunt was impressed by the fifth and sixth graders' projects this year and said, "I'm sure a lot of parents were busy, too."