St. Charles High School students showcased their skills and commitment to tackling climate change at the VelocityX: Climate Innovation Hackathon. The event, hosted by the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) at the Velocity Center in Indian Head on March 30 and 31, brought together 25 participants from CSM, local high schools, and other colleges to compete for prizes.

Impressively, St. Charles High School students claimed both the first and third place prizes, demonstrating their dedication and innovative thinking. The EcoAlert Team from St. Charles emerged as the champions, winning first place and receiving the grand prize. In addition, the Interactive Map App team from St. Charles secured a respectable third place. The teams were skillfully guided by Terence Stone, a computer science teacher at St. Charles.

Students from St. Charles High School recently placed first and third in the VelocityX: Climate Innovation Hackathon hosted by the College of Southern Maryland (CSM). Pictured from far left in the front row: Terence Stone, Miracle Washington, Nevaeh McKinney and Nishtha Patel. Left to right, back row: Thomas Wills, Zephaniah Seaforth and Dylan Bridgewater.

Terence Stone expressed his delight with the unexpected success of the teams, stating, “The marketing team won the first-place prize and the data visualization team placed third in the challenge. We are very happy with the results as they were unexpected.”

The EcoAlert team, composed of Dylan Bridgewater (junior), Nishta Patel (sophomore), and Zephaniah Seaforth (freshman), emerged victorious with their outstanding performance. Meanwhile, the Interactive Map App team, consisting of Neveah McKinney (senior), Miracle Washington (junior), and Thomas Willis (junior), secured third place with their innovative solution.

The hackathon, a social event aimed at encouraging collaborative and rapid development of functional software or hardware, featured two challenges specifically addressing climate change issues in Southern Maryland and similar regions. Participants were tasked with tackling a marketing challenge and a data visualization challenge.

The marketing challenge required participants to develop a comprehensive marketing plan outlining strategies to effectively communicate with communities about the pressing concerns of flooding and erosion in Southern Maryland. This challenge aimed to raise awareness and engage local residents in efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.

On the other hand, the data visualization challenge required participants to create cutting-edge tools for data visualization. These tools would aid residents in better understanding the risks and impacts of sea level rise in Charles County. By providing easily accessible and comprehensible data, the challenge sought to empower individuals to make informed decisions and take proactive measures to address climate-related challenges.

The success of the St. Charles High School teams reflects their exceptional talent, dedication, and problem-solving abilities. It highlights their commitment to driving positive change and finding innovative solutions to climate-related issues. Their achievements in the hackathon serve as a testament to the quality of education and mentorship provided by St. Charles High School.

The VelocityX: Climate Innovation Hackathon not only provided an opportunity for students to showcase their skills but also fostered collaboration among participants from various educational institutions. By bringing together bright minds and encouraging them to work collectively, the hackathon demonstrated the power of collaboration in addressing complex challenges.

As the urgent need for innovative solutions to combat climate change continues to grow, events like the VelocityX Hackathon play a vital role in inspiring and nurturing the next generation of climate innovators. The achievements of the St. Charles High School teams at the hackathon serve as a source of inspiration and encouragement for students across the region to actively engage in climate-related initiatives.

The St. Charles High School community commends the EcoAlert and Interactive Map App teams for their outstanding achievements and expresses gratitude to Terence Stone for his exceptional guidance. These talented students have not only made their school proud but have also taken a significant step towards building a sustainable future for their communities.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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