The Eagles — a VEX Robotics team from North Point High School — was named a tournament champion at the Jan. 21 VEX Robotics Southern Maryland Showdown competition. Lucky Duckies, a community team made up of Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students in the Southern Maryland Robotics Club, shares the title of tournament champions with North Point. Both teams advance to the Maryland State Robotics Competition March 3 at Dundulk High School.

The North Point Eagles team is coached by English teacher, Julian Scrivens. Team members include sophomores Hudson Garrett, Corey Thomas Jr. and Samarjeet Virk, junior Andrew Bell and senior Cohen Porter.

“This team, and really our whole club, is so special because their self-motivation is matched only by their innovation,” Scrivens said. “Everything they have accomplished has been entirely of their own design and volition, including volunteering to help younger students at the elementary and middle levels, of which I am most proud.” The North Point team — which also includes members of Zip Ties and a Prayer made up of juniors Owen Hall, Samuel Stine, Nathan Kang, Joshua Gray and Zachary Berke — was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award at the competition.

The Lucky Duckies team is made up of La Plata High School freshmen Michael Metz and Ashlyn Milani; and Maurice J. McDonough High School freshmen Jeremiah Nairn, Mikayla Nairn, Brett Wood and Madison Scott. The team is coached by Gina Nairn, Melissa Scott and Laura Metz.

Other teams that competed in the showdown will take part in the state contest including the Area 53 Alien Raiders of the Greenbelt Robotics Team which won the Excellence Award for high school, the Design Award and was the Robot Skills Champion. The Robohawks of Our Lady Star of the Sea School earned a spot at the state competition after taking home the Excellence Award for middle school.

The VEX challenge plays out on the 12-feet-by-12-feet with two alliances — one red, one blue — composed of two teams each that compete in matches of a 15-second autonomous period before a 1-minute-45-second period during which the robot is driver controlled.

The competition on Jan. 21 concluded with an awards ceremony that honored additional teams and participants.

  • Tournament Finalists — Zip Ties and a Prayer, North Point; Disco Ducks, Piccowaxen Middle School.
  • Judges Award — Overflow, Piccowaxen.
  • Innovate Award — Lucky Duckies, Southern Maryland Robotics Club.
  • Think Award — Autonomous Connection W, Huntingtown High School.
  • Build Award — Et Strigoi, McDonough.
  • Create Award — Mr. Clean Fighting Machine, Thomas Stone High School.
  • Teacher of the Year — Daniel Meltsner, technology teacher, John Hanson Middle School.
  • Volunteer of the Year — North Point VEX program.

Other teams that competed in the recent showdown are Lackey Chargers, Henry E. Lackey High School; Lackey Charges 2, Lackey; The Spades, Piccowaxen Middle School; Angle Warriors, La Plata High School; Iron 6, General Smallwood Middle School; Trebuchets, Smallwood; ALLUMINATORS, North Point; The Phosphorus Vexers, John Hanson Middle School; Synflower error, Hanson; MSM, Hanson; St. Charles, St. Charles High School; Fearless Falcons, Theodore G. Davis Middle School; Fantastic Falcons, Davis; This Team, Milton M. Somers Middle School; That Team, Somers; Their Team, Somers; Autonomous Connection Z, Huntingtown; and Panthers, Patuxent High School.

Additional teams from CCPS may qualify for the state competition as the season continues. Teams of elementary school students are set to compete Saturday, Feb. 4, at Great Mills High School.

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