Chas. Co. Students Compete in Save the Bay Robotics Challenge - Southern Maryland Headline News

Chas. Co. Students Compete in Save the Bay Robotics Challenge


LA PLATA, Md. (May 15, 2012)—Teams from Dr. Thomas L. Higdon, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd and Indian Head elementary schools, as well as Mattawoman Middle School, placed in the 2012 Save the Bay Robotics Challenge held May 5 at North Point High School. The event was sponsored by the U.S. Navy and National Defense Education Program and is part of the 2011-12 Indian Head Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) In-School Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program.

The “Purple Robots” team from Higdon was named the overall winner at the elementary school level. Team members are fifth graders Caleb Griffith, Taylor Gascon, Abigail Mattingly, Sydney Maddox and McKenna Simpson. Their team also received first place in the robotics and research proposal categories. In the robotics category, students complete eight challenges with their robots on a constructed challenge board. In the research proposal category, teams are judged on research conducted on aspects of the Chesapeake Bay. The team was required to present their research during a 10-minute interview.

The “MMOTT Bot” team from Mattawoman was named the overall winner in the middle school division of the competition. Team members are seventh graders Madison Hutson, Tanner Nau, Makaila Sanders and Timothy Staudmyer. The team also won first place in the robotics challenge at the middle school level, second place in the research category and third place in the teamwork event. In this category, students are interviewed and judged on their ability to work together as a team.

The “Plasma Robots” team from Higdon was named the second overall winner at the elementary level. Team members include fifth graders Jarett Mulloy, Dillon Clancy, Carly Rodgers, Shelby Latimer and Katelynn Gordon. The team also received second place in the robotics category.

The “Bay Kids” team from Indian Head received first place in the technical interview category. In this category, students are judged on the construction and programming of their robot and must provide a demonstration. Team members are fifth graders Jenna Clark, Kathryn O’Clare, Ariel Smith and Nicolette Smith.

Higdon’s “Robo Blasters” team won second place in the teamwork category. Members include fifth graders Katie Czysz, Alyssa Simpson, William Stanley, Ryan Summy and Emily Wise.

Indian Head’s “Bay Sharks” team won second place in the technical interview category. Members include fourth graders Zakri Asiala, Josiah Fenwick, Brendan Outland and Tiger Tu.

The “Bay Rockers” team from Indian Head received third place in the teamwork and technical interview categories. Team members are fifth graders Perzya Addison, Jordan Banks, Briana Hicks, Sydnei Huff, Azanaa Hutchinson and Brianna Springs.

Dr. Mudd’s “Earth Protectors” team was named fourth overall at the elementary school level and received third place in the robotics category. Team members are fourth graders Shannon Austria, Daniel Berry, Sammaria Felton, Adriana Imes, Joseph Mahoney and Shannell Matthews.

The event featured two levels of competition: one for elementary school teams and one for middle school teams. Teams were required to complete challenges with their robots, including cleaning up a power plant, delivering oysters to the bay, preventing land erosion, scanning water for crab populations, dredging a river and searching for pollutants. Teams also participated in teamwork and technical interviews, and were judged on their research projects. Students Theodore G. Davis, Matthew Henson and Piccowaxen middle schools, as well as schools from St. Mary’s and Montgomery counties, also competed in the event.

The top two teams in each category receive a four-day trip to Smith Island, located on the Eastern shore of Maryland, next month. During the trip, students will work with volunteer engineers from NSWC to learn about wildlife, conditions of the Chesapeake Bay and camping in the outdoors.

The program was launched at the competing Charles County schools earlier this school year. Over a period of 16 weeks, engineers from the Indian Head and Bethesda-based Carderock Naval Surface Warfare Centers, and technical students from the College of Southern Maryland serve as mentors to help students work with robotics, engineering challenges and scientific investigations studying the Chesapeake Bay. Each mentor spent at least two hours of class time with the students at each school per week.

At the elementary school level, student teams worked to build and program robots capable of performing up to eight different robotics challenges within a period of three minutes. Teams also selected one of the eight challenges for their research proposal.

At the middle school level, student teams worked to build and program robots capable of performing up to six challenges. Teams also selected one of the six challenges for their research proposal.

The program also requires students to conduct scientific investigation on different issues within the Chesapeake Bay. Expert lecturers visited each school once a month to speak to teams about water and marine life in the Chesapeake Bay.

Source: Charles County Public Schools

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