A team of four Cradlerock School students won second place at the 2009 MESA USA National Engineering Contest in Denver last month.
The middle-schoolers - Alexis Ligon, Caroline Pyon, Xinxin Guo and Ben Kale - placed for design efficiency and accuracy in the Trebuchet, a catapult competition.
The students represented not only Howard County, but the entire state of Maryland during the competition. At the national competition, the team competed against both middle and high school students from across the nation.
The students were judged by professional engineers, who evaluate the student's work on performance in mathematics, oral and written communications, and expertise and proficiency in architectural and engineering applications.
This is the second consecutive year that the Cradlerock students have represented the state at the competition. The have been honing their skills while participating in the Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement Program (MESA) at Cradlerock.
The competition is supposed to "stimulate the interest of students in careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics," according to the school system's public information office.