July 14, 2024

Robotics Teams Head to World Championship

Robotics World Championship
Ridge Elementary School Rockets earned the Elementary Excellence Award at the Maryland State VEX IQ Championship on Feb. 25. In the front row are Grace Anderson, left, Matthew Krawczyk, and Connor Tomasic. In the back row are Luis Quinones, left, Isaiah Wade, Jasemine Edison, and Coach David Cannavo.

St. Mary’s County robotics programs are gaining momentum and are quickly becoming the “teams to beat.” At the recent Maryland State VEX IQ Championship on Feb. 25 in Towson, county teams earned five invitations to the VEX World Championship to be held in April in Louisville, Kentucky. The Patuxent Partnership supports local robotics programs.


Spring Ridge Middle School Cheeze-itz: In the bottom row are Jared Republica, left, David Abbott, Tyler Ludlow, Emelye Loibl, and Michael Shook. In the top row are Gabe Tayco, left, Cordero Smith, Ryan Lowe, Douglass Abbott, and Coach Deryn Shook.

For the second year in a row, Ridge Elementary School walked away with the Elementary Excellence Award, the top award given at a VEX IQ event. The Excellence Award is presented to the team that exemplifies overall excellence in creating a high quality robotics program. The RES Rockets also won the STEM Research Project Award for their project, “Using Robotics in Elementary Classrooms to Improve Learning”.

The GameChangers 4-H robotics team earned top honors in Design, demonstrating the ability to implement an effective and efficient robot design process. The team not only had to produce a detailed engineering notebook which documented the entire design/build process, but they also had to meet with judges to demonstrate their knowledge and effective management of skills, time, and material resources.

A new team to the Southern Maryland Robotics Community, Flabbergasted^5, earned the Teamwork Challenge Championship. Paired with a team from Westminster, the alliance scored an impressive 75 points in the final alliance match and securing their third consecutive Teamwork Championship of the season, and earning a coveted slot to the World Championship.


GameChangers: Holland Henderson-Boyer, left, Robert “RJ” Dodge, Dennis Hickey, Daniel Hickey and Raisa Lees.

Two teams from Spring Ridge Middle School, SRMS Cheeze-itz and SRMS Metal Matrix, also earned invitations to Worlds after posting impressive scores in the Skills Challenge. Skills scores are a combination of autonomous operations and driving skills. The Cheeze-itz obtained a very impressive 90 points, with the SRMS Metal Matrix right behind them with a final score of 80.

“We are very proud of our robotics program and all the schools and students that participate,” said Jason Hayes, St. Mary’s County Public Schools science supervisor. “Having SMC teams named the ‘best’ in the state is amazing, and having them compete at the world level is quite an accomplishment. I know they are going to represent us well. I wish all the teams best of luck at the World Championship. ”


Spring Ridge Middle School Metal Matrix: Bottom row from left, Linden Magpuri, Riley Edgar, Gabriella Bowes, and Julia Sullivan. Top row, Matthew Lange, left, Jack Mewhinney, Ryan Lange, Breeanna Smith-Geisbert, and Coach George Edgar. Not pictured is Coach Danny Varen.


Flabbergaster^5: Landon McDowell, left, Gabriel Cannavo, Morgan Anderson, Logan Heitmeyer, and Florencia Dameron.

These five teams will now face off against 550 of the world’s top VEX IQ teams in a three-day challenge held at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville. As teams continue to prepare and practice, they also are actively seeking sponsorship to help cover the cost of team registrations ($850 per team).  Those who would like to donate to one (or all) of the teams advancing, please contact the team’s administrator:

Ridge Elementary: Coach David at [email protected] or Joni Cummins at [email protected]. Click here to donate.

Spring Ridge Middle School: Tom Galligan at [email protected].

Flabbergasted^5: Coach Lucas Anderson at [email protected]. Click here to donate.

GameChangers 4-H Robotics Club: Brenda Scheufele at [email protected].

About The Patuxent Partnership

The Patuxent Partnership works with government, industry, and academia on initiatives in science and technology, hosts programs of interest to NAVAIR and the broader DoD community, and supports workforce development including education initiatives and professional development. Call 301-866-1739.

To learn more about The Patuxent Partnership and its programs, visit its Leader member page. 

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