Several Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students recently competed in the Maryland Destination Imagination (DI) tournament held April 10. A total of 94 students participated on 16 competing CCPS teams from the elementary-, middle- and high school levels. There is also a non-competitive challenge for Rising Stars teams. Rising Stars teams include students in kindergarten through Grade 2.  

The tournament is broken down into six problem-solving challenges that require teams to work together to apply creativity, critical-thinking skills and unique talents. Due to the virtual format this year, CCPS did not hold its own regional tournament. Teams submitted virtual demonstrations and performances in their respective challenge areas for judging.

Twelve CCPS teams placed among the top four teams in their respective challenges, making them eligible to advance to the national event. The following teams can compete at the DI Global Finals event set for later this year.

The Next Level (technical challenge)

  • Elementary:
    • Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School: Mitchell Blazing Motivators team, fourth place. Students on the Mitchell team include Andrew Cook, Lewis Payne, Myka Rizor, Aubrey Vogel and Hailey Vogel.
  • High:
    • La Plata High School, Ladies in Motion team, third place. The La Plata team includes students Jenna Jean, Aaliyah Mitchell, Lindsey Plotner and Reagan Savoy.
    • North Point High School, North Point Half N’ ½… ish team, fourth place. Students on the North Point team include Chase Drewery, Elizabeth Gerstman, Ifeanyi Ijezie, Karly Iriarte, Robert Polk and Sydney Prince.

In Theory (scientific challenge)

  • High:
    • North Point, Mad Scientists team, third place. The North Point team includes students Charlene Drennen, Carmia Edwards, Sophia Gerstman, Randolph Hart and Jorrell Lawton.

Epic Remix (fine arts challenge)

  • Elementary
    • Mitchell, Performing Girls team, second place. The Mitchell team includes students Eve Hoepfl, Elise Jennings, Madison Krupa, Molly Krupa, Finley Poff and Rebecca Romero.  
    • J.P. Ryon Elementary School, Thunder team, third place. The team from Ryon includes students Melvyn Farmer, Robel Mekias, Dior Taylor, Kennedi Twitty and Vianna Phipps.  

Case Closed (improvisational challenge)

  • High:
    • Henry E. Lackey High School and North Point, Little Rascals team, third place. Students on the team include Temiloluwa Dapo-Adeyemo, Anujin Nyamgaltaa, Hunter Paulin, Anastazia Scherer and Sarah Treadway.

Built to Last (engineering challenge)

  • Elementary:
    • Mary H. Matula Elementary School, Fantastic Flying Tacos team, first place. Students on the Matula team include Mallory Chewning, Karina Elliott, Grace Hankinson, Juliet Hankinson, Emma Mackey, Artin Malkasian and Hrishi Soni.
  • High:
    • North Point, Dynamic Imaginators team, second place. Team members include students Jaden Gant, Alyssa Rios, Takiyah Roberts and Cameron Robey.

Project Podcast (service-learning challenge)

  • Elementary:
    • Mitchell, Problem Solvers team, first place. Students on the Mitchell team include Evelyn Bedell, Ethan Dutton, Samantha Stancliff and Jace Williams.
  • Middle:
    • General Smallwood Middle School, Bulldogs team, first place. Students on the team include Brylee Boyden, Emily Cooley, Erin Cooley, James Ruffin, Julienne Tevis, Alicia Warren and Christopher Zullo.
    • Matthew Henson Middle School, Husk-ful News team, second place. Students on the team include London Horne, Carsyn Martin, Christopher Martin and Savannah Moultrie.

Three CCPS students were also recognized at the Maryland DI event with scholarships. Hunter Paulin, a senior at Lackey, and Alyssa Rios, a senior at North Point, both earned the 2021 Maryland Creative Problem Solvers Inc. Scholarship. The honor recognizes students for their commitment and dedication to the DI program. Robert Polk, a North Point senior, earned the 2021 Maryland Creative Problems Solvers Inc. Timothy Plymette Memorial Scholarship for an impressive record in technical and engineering DI challenges.

The Maryland DI celebration and details about the program are posted online at

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