Local FIRST LEGO League Team Third in the State 

Last Updated on Apr 11, 2017 at 2:37pm

Advances to Mountain State Invitational

Article written by NeXT GEN Team members

Garrett County’s NeXT GEN Team 3659 received the Third Place Champions Award at the Maryland State FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Championship on February 25, 2017 in Catonsville, MD. >This award recognizes a team that embodies the FIRST LEGO League experience by fully embracing FIRST’s Core Values while achieving excellence and innovation in both the robot game and project. The team earned advancement to the Mountain State US FLL Open in Fairmont, WV on July 7-9, 2017.

The team was also honored with the Maryland nomination for the Global Innovation Award (GIA) for its “Bee-Haven” project. The team, through research and design, developed the Bee-Haven. It is a climate controlled hive covering that protects honeybees during the cold winter months. >The FLL GIA is a competition designed to showcase the real-world, innovative solutions that FIRST LEGO League teams create as a result of their projects. The award encourages and assists teams to further develop solutions to real-world problems that demonstrate originality and have the potential to add significant value to the world. The team worked several weeks to complete the GIA application and submitted it for the competition. In June, the top twenty (20) semi-finalist teams from around the world will travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in final judging, innovation focused workshops and activities, and an awards ceremony, where the winner and two runners-up will be announced.

MD FLL NeXT Gen FLL Team Third Place Champions 04-11-17

Pictured above left to right: NeXT Gen FLL Team earned the Third Place Champions Award at the Maryland State FLL Championship. The team consists of students from Northern Middle, Southern Middle and Swan Middle Schools. Front row – Coach Ronni DiGioia, Coach Arlene Lantz, and Jarrett Miller. Middle row – Savannah Jenkins, Jett Miller, Serena Lewis, Keaton Beachy, Noah Beakes, Connor Madigan. Back row – Emilia Germain, Sara Huelskamp. Not pictured, Coach Phil Malone.


Team Coach, Arlene Lantz, was also honored with the Adult Coach/Mentor Award. Coaches and mentors inspire their teams to do their best, both as individuals and together. This award is for the coach or mentor whose leadership and guidance is clearly evident and best exemplifies the FIRST LEGO League Core Values.

MD FLL Arlene Lantz Coach Mentor Award 04-11-17

Pictured above: Coach Arlene Lantz, winner of the Maryland 2017 FLL Coach/Mentor Award


The team will continue its practices in preparation for the July event. The team will also have several upcoming fundraising events to help pay for the expenses to attend the three-day Mountain State Open.

NeXT GEN invites the public to the GEARS Open House at 116 Industrial Park in Accident on Sunday, April 23rd from 3-5 pm. NeXT GEN and several other county FIRST robotic teams will be demonstrating their robots, and kids of all ages will have several hands-on STEM experiences like SuGO, LEGO WeDos, Osmo, running an FTC demobot, and other fun learning experiences!


MD FLL with Northrop Grumman Engineers 04-11-17

Pictured above: The team shared its programming with two engineers from Northrop Grumman in the pit area. Steve Smalley is an Advisory Engineer, and Raymond Sharp is the Director, Software & Digital Technologies Engineering & Sciences, Eastern Region Northrop Grumman Mission Systems.
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