Robotics teams from five Charles County public elementary and middle schools competed in the 2017 Save the Bay/Chemical Engineering Robotics Challenge held Feb. 11 at Theodore G. Davis Middle School. The event is sponsored annually by the National Defense Education Program (NDEP) and is part of the 2016-17 Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Technology Division (NSWC IHEODTD) In-School Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program.
The event features two levels of competition: one for fifth-grade teams, the Save the Bay challenge, and one for eighth-grade teams, the Chemical Engineering challenge. Awards are given in four categories: robotics, technical interview, research project and overall. During the event, teams were required to complete challenges with their robots on challenge boards representing the Chesapeake Bay and a chemical pilot plant.
Four teams from Dr. Thomas L. Higdon and Indian Head elementary school earned awards in the Save the Bay challenge. The Higdon Thunder Bots team earned a third-place overall award. Team members are Raleigh Castleberry, Sequoia Hamill, Alexandra Merchant and Samuel Richardson.
The Indian Head Mindstorm Masters team received second place in the technical interview category. Team members include Gabriel Rodriguez-Batalla, Hayli Garner, Zachariah Kershner and Tremaine Savoy.
The Takis team from Indian Head earned third place in the technical interview category. Students on the team are Ryan Gimmel, Danielle Lindsay, Jayden Middleton and Skye Winchester.
The Watershed Warriors team from Higdon earned a second-place award in the robotics category. The team includes students Justice Boyd, Anna Palchak, Drew Webster and Brianna Wilson.
One middle school team, the Plasma team from Milton M. Somers Middle School, earned a second-place award in the research project category of the Chemical Engineering challenge. Team members are students Kevin Bonnie, Charlotte Flade, Samuel Grange, Eric Helm, Ashton Kolczynski, Marissa Perino and Eric Ward.
The In-School STEM program was launched at competing schools earlier this school year. Over a period of three months, engineers serve as mentors to help students work with robotics, engineering challenges and scientific investigations studying the Chesapeake Bay and chemical engineering. Teams learn to write computer programs and build robots capable of performing different robotics challenges within a designated time period.
As part of the program, teams are required to develop research projects related to either the Chesapeake Bay or a chemical process, which they present to a panel of judges.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.