LA PLATA, Md. (June 14, 2016)—Robotics teams from seven Charles County public elementary and middle schools competed in the 2016 Save the Bay/Chemical Engineering Robotics Challenge held June 1 at Theodore G. Davis Middle School. The event was sponsored by the National Defense Education Program (NDEP) and is part of the 2015-16 Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Technology Division (NSWC IHEODTD) in-school Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program.
The event featured 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, Research 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.
At the elementary-school level, the Higdon Robotics Wolves team earned a first-place award in the Research category and third place in the Technical category. As part of the program, elementary school teams conduct research and scientific investigations on problems occurring in the Chesapeake Bay.
Team members include Higdon fifth graders Nathan Bowling, Ginger Hayden, Hannah Kelley, Michael Slattery and Jackson Trice.
Several CCPS teams placed at the middle-school level of competition.
The It's All Skills team from John Hanson Middle School earned second place in the Robotics category. Team members are Hanson eighth graders Kissaiah Brown, Courtney Nelms, Ashley Pumphrey, Mercedez Watkins and Layla Woolridge.
The Olympians team from Milton M. Somers Middle School of eighth graders Ben Ader, Kyle Burleson, Zachery Cox and Courtney Mearis tied for second place with the Hanson team in the Robotics category.
Two CCPS middle school teams tied for third place in the Research category of the challenge. The Kake team of Theodore G. Davis Middle School eighth graders Eriyana Cooks, Kobe Kegler, Aja Logan and Kyrene Ramirez tied with a team from Matthew Henson Middle School. The KDTAL team also received third place in the Research category and includes eighth graders Sha'Kayla Burns, Angelo Capati, Tyla Frazier, Kiya Lewis, Langston Staton and Danielle Sullivan.
Five CCPS middle school teams tied for third place in the Robotics category of the challenge. They include the DJ Cam team from Somers, and the Lit Kit, Chickmelon, Slackers and Black Crows teams from Henson.
Somers' DJ Cam team includes eighth graders Micah Cole, Dorian Fowler, Jasmine Glover and Alyssa Simmons.
Henson students on the Lit Kit team include eighth graders Hunter Batts, Synia Johnson, Emily Kerns, Jailyn Montgomery and Gianni Tatum.
The Chickmelon team from Henson includes eighth graders Makayla Carr, Kennedy Davis, Dominic Hawkins, Campbell Locco and Derrick Thompson-Yates.
The Slackers team from Henson includes eighth graders Jalen Brown, Chloee Jones, Justin Schuster, Ben Rosario and Ryan Vance.
The Black Crows team from Henson includes eighth graders Mekhi Campbell, Dajia Coley, Daynah Desir, Bre Ford, Josh Johnson and Korrin Swinton.
The in-school STEM program was launched at the 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.