Young creator a finalist in invention competition


February 25, 2000|By Peg Adamarczyk | Peg Adamarczyk,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A CLASSROOM project has taken on more meaning for Robert Kegley, a 17-year-old Pasadena student at Archbishop Spalding High School -- winning him a $500 savings bond as a national finalist in the Duracell/National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Invention Challenge 2000.

Robert built a car -- a model one, anyway. It is battery-powered, hydraulic vehicle named Panther. It won't be running down Energizer bunnies, but through an attached control line the car can go through some hops of its own.

The car was among 100 inventions selected from more than 1,400 entries in this year's contest, and rides into competition for the top prizes and a trip to the national NSTA convention in Orlando, Fla.

Panther came to life as a final project for teacher Eugene Newman's engineering class at Spalding High in Severn. Robert said he had several options for choosing a project -- but the others involved writing an essay.

He preferred the challenge of inventing.

To be entered in the contest, the creation had to be a working device, powered by Duracell batteries.

It could perform a practical function, solve problems, educate or entertain.

Robert chose to entertain.

"I came up with the idea of the car, and then started working on it with help from my friend Reefe Scott," Robert said.

Three weeks and about $300 later -- money that came out of Robert's pocket -- the Panther emerged, sleek and ready to perform.

"The car is pure fun," he explained. "It moves up and down, like a low-rider car, plus all four wheels can, too. It was a challenge to build, a lot of trial and error."

Now all Robert and his parents, Patrick and Carolyn Kegley, can do is wait and hope for good news -- with luck, before their batteries run out.

A free trip to Orlando for Robert, his teacher and parents, to say nothing of a top prize of a $20,000 savings bond, would make a great ending to an A-plus science project.

Church rush hour

Seeking to ease a rushed Sunday morning schedule, Pasadena United Methodist Church at 61 Ritchie Highway is changing the starting times for its Sunday school and worship service beginning this weekend.

Sunday school will begin at 9: 15 a.m., and morning worship is scheduled for 10: 30.

According to Sara Titus, church spokeswoman, the former schedule left only a small window for those attending or teaching Sunday school. Additionally, choir members had to leave class early to get ready. The new schedule should alleviate that rushed feeling for everyone.

Information: 410-647-3090.

Book signing

The Pasadena Business Association will sponsor a tea and book-signing of "Between Two Rivers," a history of Pasadena written by Isabel Cunningham, from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at the All Things County store in Pastore's Plaza, at Mountain and Hog Neck roads.

Cunningham will be available from 1 p.m. to 3: 30 p.m. -- the author's final book-signing appearance. .

Chambers get-together

From 7: 45 a.m. to 9: 45 a.m. Tuesday, the Pasadena Business Association, in conjunction with six local chambers of commerce -- Greater Crofton, Baltimore-Washington Corridor, Greater Severna Park, North Anne Arundel County, Southern Anne Arundel County and West Anne Arundel -- will sponsor a business networking breakfast at Crofton Country Club.

The cost for members is $12 in advance, $17 at the door.

The cost is $25 for nonmembers of PBA or the respective chambers.

After registration and breakfast from 7: 45 a.m. to 8: 30 a.m., round-table presentations will be made.

The PBA's March general membership meeting is scheduled for noon Wednesday at the Maryland Yacht Club.

The cost is $15 at the door.

Information on PBA events: 410-987-4887.

Kiwanis citrus sale

Mountain Road Kiwanis Club is sponsoring its semiannual Florida citrus sale, for orders to be picked up from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 11 in the parking lot of Angel's Market on Mountain Road.

Valencia oranges and ruby red grapefruit can be ordered by the case, the half-case, or the quarter-case at $20, $11 and $6, respectively.

Mixed orders are available at $24, $12 and $6.

Orders can be placed by calling Don Allen at 410-255-4776 or leaving a voice-mail message at 410-761-2487. He may also be contacted through e-mail at

Raffle tickets for the Kiwanis drawing of two, 13-ticket season packages for Oriole games remain on sale for $1 each.

The drawing will take place March 26. Information: Robert Baxter, 410-255-2252.

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