AGNR News > News Article
October 16, 2012
Maryland 4-Hers took first place in both the Tractor Operator and Small Engines Events. Our Robotics Team narrowly missed first place in the final round during a second overtime session. Again, the Maryland 4-H Engineering Team has returned from a successful trip to Lafayette, Indiana, for the 62th National 4-H Engineering Challenge, September 23 - 25, 2012. The eleven-member team participated in individual and team events and a team of 8 competed in the 4-H Engineering Bowl. They also attended educational workshops at Purdue University and educational field trips in the Lafayette area to Ice Cream Specialties and Lafayette Interior Fashions. The event had 50 youth from 9 states competing in nine project areas. Safety is a major component of this event.
Most of the Maryland team members were the state grand champions in mechanical science events in Division V, 4-H Engineering Events, at the Maryland State Fair in August 2012. The youth first competed in their counties. Most counties offer these 4-H activities. The national events include tractor operator safety, lawn tractor, arc welding, small engines, electric/energy, computer, robotics, aerospace and bicycle. Maryland did not have senior contestants in Electric/Energy and Computer this year
The robotics team, consisting of Jordan Kiesel and Michael Scott (Carroll County), competed in both a remote control challenge and an asynchronous (pre-programmed) challenge, placing second in both. In the remote control challenge their robot had to pick up a ball and balance it on top of a vertical pipe. In the asynchronous challenge their robot had to move to grab the end of a rolled up measuring tape and pull it out exactly 57 inches. In the remote control event they lost in the finals by a narrow margin in second overtime and in the asynchronous event a mysterious operations error in two of three runs after many perfect operations in practice caused penalty points. Regardless, it was an amazing display of talent. Mr. Brian Kiesel, a Carroll County volunteer, was MD robotics coach at the national event. This is part of an effort toward SET - science, engineering and technology educational programming.
Maryland contestant Levi Lantz (Garrett County) placed first in the Tractor Operator Event in a group of 9 contestants while Benjamin Wolf (Carroll County) placed first in Small Engines. Mikail Perrine (Garrett County) placed second in a group of 8 contestants in Lawn Tractor (Learn to Earn).
For the first time in many years Maryland had an Aerospace Team, consisting of Marlena Nothwehr (Montgomery County) and John Schepis (Montgomery County), who placed third and fourth, respectively, and placed second in the team event. Mr. Joseph Schepis, a Montgomery County volunteer, served as Aerospace Coach for the team on this trip. The Maryland Engineering Team received a Bye in the Engineering Bowl Competition; then narrowly lost their round.
In other individual events, Ethan Alster (Carroll County) placed third in the Bicycle Event, Joseph Coshun (Carroll County) placed fifth in Lawn Tractor (Earn to Learn) and Travis Clark (Cecil County) and Aaron Lantz (Garrett County) placed sixth and seventh, respectively, in Welding. In Welding there were only 3 points difference between third and seventh place so five contestants were almost tied. The Computer Event included the traditional manipulation of word processing and spreadsheet files but also a new area for the development of an App.
Each event included a written exam, either a presentation or parts identification test, a practical exam, and a demonstration of skills component (operation of a vehicle, computer programming, or welding).
Dr. David S. Ross, Professor Emeritus and Extension Agricultural Engineer, Department of Environmental Science and Technology, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, was the Maryland Group Coordinator and Chair of the National Bicycle Safety Event. Mr. Dwayne Murphy, Faculty Extension Assistant, 4-H Youth Development, Baltimore County, University of Maryland Extension, was Assistant Coordinator and Co-Chair in the Welding Event.
Extension Agricultural Engineers and 4-H professionals and volunteers from participating states conducted the Event. Lincoln Electric, Landis and Gyr, and Stuart C. Irby Company are national sponsors and the University of Maryland Extension; Maryland 4-H Foundation; Chesapeake Chapter, American Society of Safety Engineers; Fair View Farm; Maryland Agricultural Fair Board and equipment dealers are local sponsors of this program.
For more information, contact: Denise Frebertshauser