A group of Dearington Elementary School students in Lynchburg have been selected as one of the top 10 in the 9-12 age group at the 20th annual National Gingerbread House Competition and Display.

The gingerbread train was created by 10 fourth-graders, and led by teacher Carrie Lewis.

The Lynchburg group was one of the youngest winners in the category. Their entry was one of 68 at the competition. That list was narrowed down from more than 200 entries.

The entries had to be totally edible and contain 75 percent gingerbread.

Here is the news release from Lynchburg City Schools:

The Commonwealth Coal Train created by a group of LCS fourth graders was selected as one of the top 10 in the 9-12 age category at the 20th annual National Gingerbread House Competition and Display. 

The gingerbread train, created by 10 fourth graders at Dearington Elementary School for Innovation, was one of 68 entries invited in their category. Those 68 were originally narrowed down from more than 200 entry applications. The group of 9-year-olds was among the youngest winners in their category, and the judges said they were impressed with the accuracy of the fit and the use of many different and unusual materials.

With the win, the students received a large ribbon for their school’s trophy case and will continue to have their structure on display for all to see at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina through January.

Teacher Carrie Lewis led the group on this project as a way to show them that “learning is not the enemy.” The students used their math skills to determine measurements and costs, as well as fitting the project to scale. They also used what they learned in their social studies classes to create a display representative of their region, thus ending in the covered bridge with a coal train carrying one of our state’s natural resources from the mountains of Virginia.

The entry had to be totally edible and contain 75 percent gingerbread. Level of difficulty as well as creativity were all weighted in the judging.

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Original story from Nov. 16

When a group of fourth graders at Dearington Elementary School decided to make a gingerbread house, they didn't use a cookbook.

Their inspiration came from a textbook.

"It's a covered bridge, because at the time we were learning about Virginia history," said Leah Love, a student who worked on the project.

Ten students were selected to work on a project that would enrich their already strong math skills.  The assignment? Build something made entirely of food.

"We had a lot of time to work on it and we just kept trying till we got it right," said Jaela Tucker, a member of the group who has been working on the project since September.

With help from their math teacher, Carrie Lewis, students learned the basics of engineering.

"You can't just build whatever you want, because it might not work out and fall down," said student Andrew Cox.

And the importance of numbers.