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Young inventors shine at local tech fair
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Avery Hamilton presents her project to judges Karl Kutscera, Amy Lancaster and Gina Eigenauer during the Forsyth County Tech Fair at Whitlow Elementary. - photo by Jennifer Sami

CUMMING — After watching his older brother compete, Caleb Cagle decided to try his hand at the Forsyth County Tech Fair.

Now in his second year as a participant, Cagle continues to perform well, this time taking third place in the animated graphic design category with friend Griffin Dupuis. 

“I did stop motion by myself last year and I really liked that, so I thought I’d do it with my friend,” Cagle said.

The county’s fair, held Saturday at Whitlow Elementary, featured Forsyth students in third through 12th grades competing in more than 15 categories, including programming, Internet applications, digital photography and video production and mobile application design.

Each student had one-on-one time with a pair of judges, explaining their finished product and creative process.

After viewing one entry, teacher and judge Liz Ralston said she was “blown away by what [the student] created.”

“I had no idea that kids were capable of creating these kinds of projects,” she said.

While Forsyth advocates for technology in the classroom and at home, categories in the competition aren’t typically offered in a classroom setting.

“What’s really cool is knowing they obviously have gotten parental support, and that what the parents can do at home with them can help us with what we’re doing here,” said Lee Steiner, a teacher and judge.

Though Caleb Cagle won’t advance to the state competition in March, his brother Glenn will, having earned first place in the game design category for his overhead maze-based game.

“I’ve done different categories every time ... because I found things I liked better,” said Glenn Cagle, a Liberty Middle School eighth-grader. “I did 3-D modeling, then I found blender, where I can make animated things ... then video game design, and I’ve always been into video games.”