La Plata MESA Team Advances to Nationals

Craik Named Top Elementary School

LA PLATA, Md. (May 14, 2011) — The La Plata High School Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) team will compete in the 2011 National Engineering Competition next month in Seattle after earning first place at the Maryland Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) competition held Monday, May 9, at John Hopkins University.

The MESA team from Dr. James Craik Elementary School was also named as the overall state winner at the elementary level and received awards in three of the four featured events: first place in the Storybook Theme Park Ride category; second place in the Balsa Wood Bridge category; and third place in the Scratch Banner Design challenge.

La Plata’s team won first place in the Wind Energy Challenge at the high school level and will compete against teams from nationwide high schools at the national event. Last year, MESA announced that the windmill challenge would replace the multi-task trebuchet as the new national competition. In order to compete at the national level, teams must win first place in the Wind Energy Challenge at the state level.

Team members are seniors Kane Wade and Bhaskar Joshi and sophomore Shubham Patel. Coaches are La Plata teachers John Holmes and Garrick Baker, and Elaine Reynolds and Jerry Reynolds.

Craik’s team includes fifth graders Denver Bennett, Joshua Burns, Kady Comstock, Justin Elmore, Elizabeth Hicks, Noah Kidwell, Selena Makell, Savanah Paton, Zachary Proctor, Elena Quartararo, Erin Quartararo, Ryan Resendes and Charlie Shin; and fourth graders Eleni Christley, Alyssa Gayon, Carina Gibbs, Michael Grainger, Caleb Remik, Lewis Salada, Alyssa Stephenson and Xzavier Thomasson. Coaches are Nicholas Gardiner and Susan Steinmetz, teachers at Craik.

Teams from General Smallwood and Milton M. Somers middle schools and Thomas Stone High School also placed at the state level. Smallwood earned second place in the Scratch Banner Design category and third place in the Bass Wood Bridge challenge.

The Somers team won third place at the middle school level in the Wind Energy Challenge. The team from Stone earned first place in the Effective Communication category, second place in the Bass Wood Bridge category and third place in the Cargo Plane challenge.

Awards are given for first-, second-, and third-place teams and one overall state elementary and secondary winner is chosen. The schools that earn the most points throughout the competition are chosen as the overall winners.

This is the fourth year Charles County Public Schools competed as a separate Maryland MESA region, due to growth of participation in the program. In previous competitions, students from Charles County Public Schools competed in the regional competition with Calvert and St. Mary’s counties.

Maryland MESA is designed to prepare students for academic and professional careers in mathematics, engineering, science, and technology. The program's goals are to increase the number of engineers, scientists, mathematicians, and related professionals at technical and management levels; and to serve as a driving force in encouraging and assisting minorities and females in achieving success in these fields.

Source: Charles County Public Schools

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