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Team from VCES wins state science olympiad
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Forsyth County News

SOUTH FORSYTH — When it comes to science, Vickery Creek Elementary School is the best in the state.

A 17-member team of Vickery students recently competed in the Georgia Science Olympiad competition at Kennesaw State University, besting a field of 64 schools from across the state.

“We had such a great season from the start of the year to the finish,” said Lynne Lake Wolfmeier, teacher and coach.

“We just decided that we’ve done our best and we were going to put forth our best effort and have a lot fun throughout the day. So when they announced our score, we had no clue we were the ones called.”

It was also a shock for student Ben Chisam, who along with a partner took home the school’s first-place trophies for two of the 18 competitions held.

“We were hoping to get in the top five, but we had competed both last year and the year before that ... and it was very, very hard to even get a medal,” he said. “We were just lucky enough last year to get third in our favorite event, Starry, Starry Night.”

Along with Anna May Carder, Chisam placed first in that category this year, as well as a first-place finish with Siddhi Chitgopkar for map reading.

Carder said she was just as surprised, joking she’s the builder of the team, which also placed sixth in straw tower building.

“I had only practiced for a month ... and within that month, we were able to get sixth place,” she said. “I’m just happy to participate in a program that can help you and help spread the word of science.

“When you’re a girl and you participate in it, people can see it’s not just for boys.”

While the middle school competition has a national event for top state qualifiers, there is no such program at the elementary school level, though Wolfmeier hopes that will change.

Vickery was one of six Forsyth County elementary schools to compete in the state event — joining Chattahoochee, Kelly Mill, Sawnee, Sharon and Whitlow — and the only one to finish in the top three overall.

“Last year we placed 19th in the state,” Wolfmeier said. “We are very proud of our students.”