Students from Friendship Collegiate Academy public charter school in Northeast competed in the regional round of a national robotics championship at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.
Students from Friendship Collegiate Academy public charter school in Northeast competed in the regional round of a national robotics championship at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. (By Craig Herndon)
Thursday, April 5, 2007

Robots That Rock

They didn't walk away with a top prize, but the 10 members of a team from Friendship Collegiate Academy public charter school in Northeast got to stretch their imaginations and scientific skills in a regional robotics competition last month in Annapolis.

The students, ninth- through 12th-graders, spent six weeks designing and building a 120-pound robot for the Chesapeake FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Regional Robotics competition, March 16 and 17 at the U. S. Naval Academy.

The competition is designed to interest students in careers in science, math, engineering and technology.

The Collegiate Academy team, dubbed RoboKnights, was among 58 competing groups from the region, including 24 from Maryland, 5 from Virginia and 5 from the District.

The student-built robots competed in a game designed to show off specific skills, such as the swiftness and agility of their movement and arm extension. The five top teams move on to a national competition in Atlanta this month.

School Space for Charters

Four former District school buildings that have been declared surplus property will be made available to charter schools for lease, the Office of Property Management said.

The agency announced plans to issue offers of solicitation for the following: Keene, at 33 Riggs Rd. NE; Langston and Slater, adjoining school buildings at 33 P St. NW and 45 P St. NW, which will be offered together; and Reno, at 4820 Howard St. NW.

Community Academy Public Charter School, which has students from pre-school to grade 5 at Keene, would be eligible to apply. Associates for Renewal in Education Inc., a child-care center, is on a month-to-month lease at Slater.

At Reno, the city's Emergency Management Agency has a communications center in the basement, but the rest of the facility is available for lease under a shared arrangement with the D.C. public schools. Langston is empty, Office of Property Management spokesman Bill Rice said.

The District has 55 charter schools, which are taxpayer-funded but operate outside of the traditional school system. As independent operators, charter schools must secure their own locations.

Charter schools are required to be given first opportunity to lease or buy most surplus public schools under D.C. law.

The office will issue a formal solicitation of offers later but wanted to give charter schools early notice of the available schools, Director Lars Etzkorn said.


CONTINUED     1        >

© 2007 The Washington Post Company