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Students soar to success at ‘Science Olympiad, It’s Elementary’ tournament
A key ingredient to student success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is excitement, and excitement was at a peak on Saturday, May 22, at the second annual Science Olympiad, It’s Elementary tournament held at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. 

Nearly 600 student scientists and engineers representing 50 teams from 23 CMS elementary schools competed head-to-head in 15 science, math, and engineering events. Challenges ranged from “3-2-1 Blastoff” to “Short Circuits” to “Pasta Tower.” In 2008-2009, 12 CMS schools and 26 teams competed in the first Science Olympiad, It’s Elementary tournament and was so popular that the program was expanded to include 23 schools and 50 teams this year.

Science Olympiad, It’s Elementary is a two-year pilot program sponsored by the Science and Math Technology Center and co-coordinated by a partnership between NC State, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and CMS.  

The overall winner in the varsity division was Barringer Academic Center. Olde Providence finished second and Villa Heights took third place. Polo Ridge, Providence Spring, Hawk Ridge, Idlewild and Myers Park Traditional wrapped up fourth through eighth places.

Providence Spring Elementary swept first, second and third place in the junior varsity division. The Spirit Award went to Newell Elementary for its team’s overall enthusiasm and positive attitude for having fun while doing science. 

Schools and the lead coaches participating in this year’s tournament included:

Barringer Academic Center-- Brian Coons
Beverly Woods -- William Maslin
Endhaven – Dee Chinault
Hawk Ridge – Luci Unferth
Idlewild -- Leigh Waldrep
JH Gunn -- Karen James
JV Washam – Jill Pratt
Lebanon Road -- Darlene Petranick
John M Morehead -- Sue Kiss
Merry Oaks – Sally Edwards
Mt. Island Elementary – Crystal Phillips
Myers Park Traditional -- Karisa Dodd
Newell -- Stephanie Nodelman
Olde Providence – Trinette Atri
Polo Ridge -- Wendy White
Providence Spring -- Steve Houser
Reid Park – Cindy Woolery
Selwyn – Jennifer Bonnack
Shamrock Gardens – Beverly Griffin
Statesville Road -- Nicole Sparrow
Tuckaseegee – Jennifer Lecorchick
Villa Heights – Todd Nasife
Winterfield -- Amethyst Klein

Plans are already underway for next year’s Science Olympiad, It’s Elementary tournament to include 50 schools, 100 teams and 1200 aspiring young engineers and scientists, with the possibility of a State-wide tournament being held at the University North Carolina at Charlotte in the Spring. 

For more information on Science Olympiad, It’s Elementary and how it can enrich and enhance student learning, e-mail Wayne Fisher at or Alisa Wickliff at

P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
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