Chas. Co. Students Compete in CSM Robotics Challenge - Southern Maryland Headline News

Chas. Co. Students Compete in CSM Robotics Challenge


LA PLATA, Md. (May 14, 2011) — Students from Charles County Public high schools recently competed in the 2011 College of Southern Maryland Robotics Challenge on Saturday at the La Plata campus. The fifth annual event is part of CSM’s Institute of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (iSTEM), which provides programs to encourage students to pursue careers in STEM fields.

More than 31 teams competed in the event from 14 public and private schools in the tri-county area. A team from Piccowaxen Middle School also participated in the event because the students participate in an advanced robotics program at their school and chose to challenge themselves by competing at the high school level. In previous years, CSM has held one overall robotics event for elementary, middle and high schools. This year, a second event for elementary and middle school students was held Saturday, May 7.

Three Charles County teams earned awards at the event. The team from Piccowaxen, along with their partner team from Patuxent High School in Calvert County, received an award for earning a position as a tournament finalist and was named runner-up to the overall competition winner. During the event, teams can select to form alliances to work together to compete against other teams.

Team members from Piccowaxen are Christain Barnes, eighth grade; Jacob Brezina, seventh grade; Emma Dawson, seventh grade; Travis Earnshaw, eighth grade; Matthew Fan, seventh grade; Blaine Hoffman, eighth grade; John Hungerford, eighth grade; and Matthew Kamin, eighth grade. Team coach is Michael Ficalora, science teacher at Piccowaxen.

A team from Thomas Stone High School earned the Support Award. This award is given to a team that helps others and provides material support to teams, such as batteries and robot gear. The award recipient is also recognized for reaching out to other teams to form alliances. Members include Alex Armstrong, junior; Lemuel Carpenter, senior; Colton Dillard, junior; Rick Greenfield, junior; Alexandra Kidd, junior; Andrew Marziani, junior; Joshua Massey, junior; John Thompson, junior; and Joseph Trefry, senior. Team coach is Beth Hastings, technology education teacher at Stone.

A team from La Plata High School received the Cooperate Award. This award is presented to the team that demonstrates extraordinary teamwork, commitment and mutual respect toward their team members and to other teams. Members are freshman William Coggins, Bryan Dang, Julianna Dawson, Jessica Hirst, Michael Morris and Zane Reitmayer, sophomores Nate Crispell, Devon Dawson, Allison DeCarlo, Sarah Didden, Bao Dinh, Shubham Patel and Alex Smith, and juniors Alex BenDebba, Jessica Gough, Michael Gregory and Chelsea Ream. Coaches are Robert Bushman, science teacher, and Garrick Baker, technology education teacher.

Teams competed against each other in the “Round Up” challenge where teams designed, built and operated robots. The challenge is played on a 12 x 12 square playing field and teams maneuver their robots around goalposts and constructed tubes and up a stationary ladder placed in the center of the playing area. Teams also participated in skill challenge competitions in which teams demonstrated their skills in driving or programming their robots. Teams were required to build their robots using the VEX Robotics System.

Source: Charles County Public Schools

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