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Economics Fair keeps on truckin'

Pinellas County schoolchildren may have found the secret to ending the recession: monster trucks.

Students from all over Pinellas reported a brisk business Friday at the 12th annual Economics Fair at Osceola Middle School. But perhaps the hottest-selling item was in the Palm Harbor Middle School booth.

"We made 100 monster trucks and have sold every one," said vocational education teacher Tony George. "We could have sold at least 100 more."

Not only was business great, but students were having the time of their lives.

"It's fun," said Krystal Fehrenbath, 8, a pupil at Bear Creek Elementary School in St. Petersburg. Krystal and her classmates were selling potted periwinkles. "You get to go up to people and say "Step right up and buy our plants.'

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More than 400 teachers were involved with the 146 projects exhibited at this year's fair, said Jeanne Freeze, the school district's director of social studies. About 2,500 teachers, students and their parents attended this year's event, which promotes economic education throughout the school district.

Projects included handmade "Gone with the Wind Chimes" created by pupils at Lake St. George Elementary in Palm Harbor; homemade cookies by pupils at Curtis Fundamental School in Clearwater; and a play depicting changes in the former Soviet Union's economic system by drama students at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg.

Activities will culminate at a reception Thursday where Sun Bank will award $100 prizes to winning exhibitors.

Freeze said it is too soon to tell how cuts in the school district's budget will affect future economic fairs.

"I hope this fair will go on forever," she said.

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