PANAMA CITY, FLA. (WMBB) — Excited students and proud parents filled the Student Union at Gulf Coast State College Thursday evening for the annual Tom Barefield history fair awards.

Students from schools across the area have been working on these projects since the first semester of school.

Thursday night, all their hard work finally paid off as many young people took home top honors in their respective categories.

We spoke with Social Studies Instructional Specialist Kelly Stafford about this year’s theme, Frontiers in History.

“This year, students were exploring the Frontiers of History, and some of that was geographical, like the American West and others were ideas like germ theory,” Stafford told our reporter. “Students chose the topics that interested them and they just had to relate it back to the theory through their research and just really delve into the topic.”

Our own, Amy Hoyt had the honor and privilege of emceeing the event.

The winners will take feedback from judges to incorporate into their projects as they prepare to compete on the state level in Tallahassee.