La Plata, MD – Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) elementary- and middle-school students participated in the Southern Maryland LEGO League Championship April 6 at the College of Southern Maryland’s La Plata campus.

More than 50 teams from the tri-county area — 18 from CCPS — were challenged to build and program a robot to compete missions related to natural disasters. With the theme of Nature’s Fury in mind, teams also researched and presented a solution to a global issue related to natural disasters. Middle school teams also took part in a technical interview with judges to demonstrate their understanding of skills and concepts.

Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School’s Storm Chasers Bulldogs nabbed first place in the robot performance category. Storm Chasers is made up of fourth graders Myles Anderson, James Charles, Abigail Higdon and Bryan Smith, and fifth graders Grace Dinnea, Mikey Metz, Nicholas Mudd and Ashlynn Smith. The team sponsor is Marty Margolis.

Mitchell’s Fury-Us Bulldogs team took fourth place in the robot performance category. The Fury-Us team includes fourth graders Zachary Cottle, Sophie Payne and Aidan Sullivan, and fifth graders Chung Fawls, Ethan Harris, Tristan Johnson, Terra Newcamp and Elias Russell. The team sponsor is Corey Specht.

Picco Programmers from Piccowaxen Middle School won the Presentation Award. The honor goes to the team that effectively communicates a problem it has identified and its proposed solution to both the judges and other potential supporters. The team includes seventh graders Raleigh Castleberry, Sequioa Hamill and Aiden Gibney, and sixth graders Cole Barrett  and Garrett Higdon. Sherrie Gibney is the team sponsor.

The Gracious Professionalism Award was given to The Elite Panthers, a Piccowaxen team that showed each other and other teams respect at all times. The team understands that both friendly competition and mutual gain are possible, on and off the playing field. Seventh grader Mason McVerry and sixth graders Caleb Rogalski and Jase Gouldman are on the team coached by Gibney.

John Hanson Middle School’s Circuit Breakers Blue and Gold team earned the Against All Odds Award. The honor goes to the team that improvises and overcomes a difficult situation while making a respectable showing at the competition. The team is made up of sixth graders Dominic Romo, Lauren Roberson, Allan Cruz-Flores, Adrean Harris, Caden Smith and Anesa Hicks, and seventh graders Aaron Johnson, Drew Brown, Cesar Rosas-Vasquez, Christopher Baldwin and Saniya Kelly, and eighth grader Alexis Larregui. The team sponsor is Michelle Darty.