Student scientists awarded for excellence with HITS Expo Awards

More than 300 students from Charles County Public elementary, middle and high schools, as well as county private schools, entered their science or history fair projects for awards as part of the third annual Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) History, Industry, Science and Technology (HITS) Expo held March 24 at St. Charles High School in Waldorf.

The Expo includes the annual Science and History Fair student projects and showcases CCPS programs available for students. These programs include robotics, the system’s Code.org computer science partnership, Project Lead the Way, Career and Technology Education (CTE) offerings and more.

Awards were given in three competing divisions: senior division for high school students, junior division for middle school students and an elementary school division. The following students received awards for their science fair projects.

Senior Division

First-place awards 

  • Ryann Brown, freshman, St. Charles High School, physics and astronomy category;
  • Demetrius Sims, senior, Henry E. Lackey High School, plant sciences category;
  • Destiny Thompson, senior, Lackey, plants sciences category; and
  • Zacarri Walker, freshman, Westlake High School, Earth and planetary sciences category.

Second-place awards 

  • Gabrielle Broughton, freshman, St. Charles, plant sciences category;
  • Madisyn Byrd, freshman, St. Charles, plant sciences category;
  • Toni Cabbell, junior, Westlake, chemistry category; and
  • Alyssa Norris, freshman, North Point High School, environmental sciences category.

Third-place awards 

  • Maurice Anderson, sophomore, Westlake, electrical and mechanical engineering category;
  • Kyle Bryson, freshman, St. Charles, chemistry category;
  • David Cosio, freshman, Westlake, physics and astronomy category;
  • Thema Green, freshman, St. Charles, chemistry category; and
  • Savanna Saunders, senior, North Point, biochemistry category. 

Junior Division 

First-place awards 

  • Eileen Browning, eighth grade, Milton M. Somers Middle School, chemistry category;
  • Hailey Carroll, eighth grade, John Hanson Middle School, materials and bioengineering category;
  • Madison Crozier, seventh grade, St. Mary’s Bryantown School, microbiology category;
  • Matthew Fialkowski, seventh grade, Somers, electrical and mechanical engineering category;
  • Dailyn Gaines, seventh grade, Hanson, plant sciences category;
  • Christian Gehrman, sixth grade, Somers, cellular and molecular biology category;
  • Jacob Goldsmith, sixth grade, Piccowaxen Middle School, Earth and planetary sciences category;
  • Lauren Pearl, sixth grade, Matthew Henson Middle School, environmental management category; and
  • Madeline Rogerson, seventh grade, Somers, medicine and health sciences category.

Second-place awards 

  • Wesley Erickson, eighth grade, St. Mary’s Bryantown, electrical and mechanical engineering category;
  • Miles Harley, sixth grade, Theodore G. Davis Middle School, Earth and planetary sciences category;
  • Trinity Long, seventh grade, Somers, cellular and molecular biology category;
  • April Luzano, sixth grade, St. Mary’s Bryantown, environmental sciences category;
  • Claire O’Rourke, sixth grade, Davis, physics and astronomy category;
  • Erin McRoy, eighth grade, St. Mary’s Bryantown, chemistry category;
  • Kelsey Njembu, eighth grade, Hanson, behavioral and social sciences category; and
  • Nehemiah Strawberry, eighth grade, Hanson, materials and bioengineering category.

Third-place awards 

  • Raymond Guzzone, seventh grade, General Smallwood Middle School, electrical and mechanical engineering category; and
  • Nicole Silbermann, seventh grade, Smallwood, environmental sciences category.

Elementary School Winners 

First-place awards 

  • Eliza Freundel, fourth grade, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School, environmental sciences category;
  • Martina Marchi, fifth grade, Berry Elementary School, engineering category;
  • Emmanuel Pearson, fourth grade, Mary H. Matula Elementary School, physics category;
  • Jael Potter, fifth grade, J.P. Ryon Elementary School, life sciences category; and
  • Shanita Savoy, fifth grade, Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School, environmental sciences category.

Second-place awards

  • Adrianne Aguilar, fourth grade, J.C. Parks Elementary School, engineering category;
  • Rebekah Ainerua, fifth grade, William A. Diggs Elementary School, chemistry category;
  • Madilynne Krauss, fifth grade, T.C. Martin Elementary School, mathematical sciences;
  • Caleb Minors, fourth grade, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School, environmental sciences category;
  • Sabrina Rockemore, fifth grade, Diggs, life science category; and
  • Todd Waller, fifth grade, C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School, physics category.

Third-place awards

  • Noah Whittaker, fifth grade, William B. Wade Elementary School, engineering category;
  • Natalie Walls, fifth grade, St. Mary’s Bryantown, environmental sciences category;
  • Zara Bryant, first grade, Ryon, chemistry category;
  • Mikayla Dickson, fifth grade, Ryon, life science category; and
  • Brodhi Sanders, fourth grade, Dr. James Craik Elementary School, physics category.  

Students were also eligible to receive special awards for their projects. Special award winners are listed below.

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, National Capital Region:

  • Ryann Brown, freshman, St. Charles, first place; and
  • Alyssa Norris, freshman, North Point, runner up. 

Charles County Archaeological Society of Maryland:

  • Libby Wilkerson, fourth grade, St. Mary’s Bryantown, Certificate of Achievement.

College of Southern Maryland:

  • Erin Cooley, fifth grade, Mt.Hope/Nanjemoy, first place, elementary level;
  • Kelsey Njembu, eighth grade, Hanson, first place, junior level; and
  • Savanna Saunders, senior, North Point, first place, high school level. 

La Plata Garden Club:

  • Olivia Leonard, fifth grade, Diggs, first place, elementary level;
  • Dailyn Gaines, seventh grade, Hanson, first place, junior level;
  • Destiny Thompson, senior, Lackey, first place, high school level; and
  • Demetrius Sims, senior, Lackey, first place, high school level.

La Plata Lions Club:

  • Sabrina Rockemore, fifth grade, Diggs, first place, elementary level;
  • Madeline Rogerson, seventh grade, Somers, first place, junior level; and
  • Jaelyn Gray, junior, Westlake, first place, senior level.

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division:

  • Raymond Guzzone, seventh grade, Smallwood, Applied Sciences Award;
  • Nehemiah Strawberry, eighth grade, Hanson, Research and Technology Award;
  • Christian Gehrman, sixth grade, Somers, Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technology Program Award; and
  • Ryann Brown, freshman, St. Charles, Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technology Program Award.

The Patuxent Partnership:

  • Molly Reitzel, sixth grade, Henson, Aeronautics/Aerospace (junior);
  • Raymond Guzzone, seventh grade, Smallwood, Electrical/Electronics (junior);
  • Lauren Pearl, sixth grade, Henson, Environmental/Biological (junior);
  • Madison Crozier, seventh grade, St. Mary’s Bryantown, Environmental/Biological (junior);
  • Claire O’Rourke, sixth grade, Davis, Unmanned Systems, Chief Engineer Award (junior); and
  • David Johnson, junior, Westlake, Electrical/Electronics Award (senior).

Southern Maryland Association of Realtors, Inc.:

  • Ryann Brown, freshman, St. Charles, Grand Award.

Southern Maryland Resource Conservation and Development Board Inc.:

  • Libby Wilkerson, fourth grade, St. Mary’s Bryantown, first place, elementary level;
  • Kathleen Cain, seventh grade, St. Peter’s School, first place, junior level;
  • Dailyn Gaines, seventh grade, Hanson, honorable mention, junior level; and
  • Savanna Saunders, senior, North Point, honorable mention, senior level.

Water and Waste Operators Association of Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C.:

  • Lauren Pearl, sixth grade, Henson, Certificate of Scientific Achievement, junior level; and
  • Alyssa Norris, freshman, North Point, Certificate of Scientific Achievement, senior level.

A complete list of students who received awards in the history day portion of the HITS Expo is posted on the Charles County Public Schools website at www.ccboe.com/pr/.

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,900 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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