First time competitors take 1st place

Hillman Elementary School wins Science Olympiad Regionals

News Photo by Julie Goldberg The Hillman Elementary Science Olympiad team won the Elementary Science Olympiad Regionals on Saturday at Lincoln Elementary.

ALPENA — In its first year, the Hillman Elementary Science Olympiad team won in the Elementary Science Olympiad Regionals on Saturday at Lincoln Elementary.

Led by teachers and coaches Gina Robertson and Crystal Vogt, the team practiced every day after school for an hour learning all the games and getting as much practice as they could before the competition on Saturday.

“It’s awesome. We’ve been working really hard for the last six weeks,” Robertson said. “We’ve been working hard studying all the events and I’m really proud of them.”

Robertson said the students practiced each event for an hour every week.

This is a great experience for kids,” Vogt said. “I think it’s a great thing for our community to have. We are very thankful for Science Olympiad because it really has brought out their love of science and they’ve really blossomed.”

Fourth-grader Aedan Tucker said he’s excited to bring a trophy back to the school.

“I liked doing the events and just the experience of the whole thing,” Tucker said. “It was amazing.”

Tucker decided to do Science Olympiad because he has always loved science.

Third-grader Eli Buist said he likes being a part of Science Olympiad because his teammates work together and they build teamwork from the time the team spends together. Fifth-grader Agnese Bonafiglia’s favorite part was winning the trophy and the medals for the different events.

Deb Hautau, co-director of Region 2 for Michigan Science Olympiad, said there were 16 events geared toward various areas of science in the elementary level.

“I think the whole event went well,” Hautau said. “We had two new schools this year and one of the new schools actually took first place so it was good.”

Hautau said it’s the second year for a lot of the schools so they’re competing for a second time and the competition is getting stiffer.

“I think that’s good,” she said. “I think the students had fun and a lot of them want to do it again next year. We’re hoping to have even more schools because this is open to all elementary schools of northern Michigan.”

Julie Goldberg can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5688.