Students in and around the greater River Hill area continue to demonstrate their talent, intellect and desire to improve the world. From designing robots and apps to teaching others about environmental issues, to creating amusing artwork aimed at bringing enjoyment to others, these local students are all doing BIG things and getting noticed.
Anjali Pulim, 7th grader at Clarksville Middle School
Clarksville Middle School student, Anjali Pulim, has already been selected as the Doodle 4 Google Maryland State Winner and is hoping to be awarded the title of National Winner for this annual contest sponsored by internet giant Google. The Doodle 4 Google contest is open to students in grades K-12 who are invited to create their own Google doodle for the chance to have it featured on the Google homepage. On an autumn day, with nothing fun to do, Anjali recalled her former art teacher at Pointers Run Elementary School mentioning the Google contest. After a little bit of research, Anjali discovered that there was still plenty of time to create an entry. The theme for this year’s competition is “What makes me…me?” Anjali’s design depicts two owls sitting on a branch telling Knock Knock jokes. It is entitled “Owls be Chillin’.” A favorite hobby of Anjali’s is sculpting mini-figures out of polymer clay. She says, “The owl is one of my favorite animals because they symbolize intelligence, and I also love creating witty little cartoons. I go about my day imagining every little humorous event like a comic. These things make me, me!”
Shocked is the best word to describe Anjali’s reaction to the news that she was the Maryland State Winner. Unbeknownst to her, the staff at Google reached out to her parents and school principal to hatch a plan for a surprise assembly at Clarksville Middle School last month. When Anjali entered the room, she was confused at first when she saw the entire 7th grade sitting there wearing Doodle4Google t-shirts, but then she saw balloons, her family, and her winning design projected on a screen and realized that this was all for her.
Anjali is now competing against 52 other states and territories to be a National Winner. Voting was open to the public from February 5-22. If her doodle drawing is selected, it will be featured on the U.S. Google.com homepage for one day, she’ll receive a $30,000 college scholarship, a $50,000 Google for Education grant for Clarksville Middle School, a trip to Google’s Headquarters in California to meet the Google Doodlers, and the opportunity to nominate a teacher to come along on the trip. She can also earn a Chromebook and Android tablet, as well as a t-shirt printed with her doodle on it.
Good luck, Anjali!
Clarksville Diamond Tooth-ED Tigers, FLL Robotics Team
Designing and building a robot that is able to accomplish tasks efficiently is one of many successes that advanced the First Lego League (FLL) Robotics Team that goes by the name of “Clarksville Diamond Tooth-ED Tigers” to the upcoming State Championships to be held at UMBC on March 5. The team is comprised of twelve students that attend Clarksville Middle School, Clarksville Elementary School, Folly Quarter Middle School, Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School, Mt. View Middle School, West Friendship Elementary School, and St. Louis Parish Middle School. They are mentored by a senior from Atholton High School. In addition to creating the robot, they are working to help people understand ways in which to reduce the amount of trash they generate, build an innovative app that encourages the development of responsible habits for recycling, complete service projects and community outreach in underprivileged communities, all while operating under a set of Core Values created by the team.
The CDT Tigers were assigned the theme of “Trash Trek” at the end of last summer and have already spent thousands of hours perfecting their robot, creating the “Trash Tiger” app, which will ultimately be available at the Google Play store, doing a presentation at the French Embassy following the tragedy in Paris last year, sending relief packages to India following the devastating floods there, operating a five day hands-on Science and Robotics class at an underserved Baltimore City elementary school and establishing a Board of Advisors including teachers, Board of Education and County Council members to provide feedback about their efforts.
The Tigers will be competing against approximately 75 other teams for the title of State Champion on March 5. Even if they don’t win, they will still have accomplished each of the items on their list of Core Values: teamwork, problem solving, discovery, sharing STEM with others, regional and global outreach, and most importantly, having fun!
Great job, CDT Tigers!
Pixel Robots, FLL Team
According to a recent report, approximately 30% of the trash in Howard County that is thrown into landfills can be composted. It is the mission of Team Pixel Robots, comprised of four 5th graders and two 6th graders from Columbia, Clarksville and Ellicott City, to educate the public about composting in order to reduce the amount of trash generated and dumped into landfills. Recently the team attended the River Hill Community Association Board of Directors’ Meeting to present information about composting and to share an online survey that the team developed. Early results based on the survey shows that about 73% of people do not have compost bins at home, 47% of people do not know about the Green Bin Food Scraps collection program, people have a general lack of knowledge regarding composting, and they are unsure of what to put in compost bins.
The Pixel Robots team would like to encourage River Hill residents to participate in the online survey, which takes less than two minutes, as a way to bring awareness to composting while also allowing them to collect more data. Additionally, the team has made several recommendations for the Board of Directors to consider: host composting seminars including a composting demonstration to educate the public, consideration of neighborhood composting locations and the installation of community compost bins.
The Board has asked the team to return to another meeting prior to the end of the school year to present an update. The online composting survey is available here.
Keep up the hard work, Pixel Robots!