Whiz Kids: Blair High School Teams Earn Awards at Mini-Urban Challenge

The Institute of Navigation and the United States Air Force Research Laboratory sponsored the Mini-Urban Challenge.


students from the Science, Mathematics, and Computer Science Magnet Program took home three of five awards during their first appearance at the Washington, DC Area Regional Mini-Urban Challenge Competition.

One team named T.N.T., was awarded Best in Show, based on their robot’s appearance and the other team, Fuzzy Logic earned Third Place and Best Presentation in Manassas, VA on March 17.

Twenty-one teams of high school students designed and operated a robotic car constructed of LEGO parts to autonomously navigate a model city. Students programmed the car to travel through a mock city constructed of LEGO pieces, which included one-way streets, stop signs, traffic circles, and parking spaces.

With only an hour prior to the competition, students learned of six locations where the robot was required to park and had 45 minutes to complete their computer instructions. Points were awarded for parking successfully, stopping at stop signs, and traveling properly on the roadways.

Points were deducted for driving on sidewalks, grass, overshooting a stop sign or parking space boundary.

In addition, each team delivered a 20-minute presentation to the judges about their building process, challenges encountered, and solutions found.

The members of the team are Fuzzy Logic include Tatyana Gubin (captain) of Gaithersburg; Evan Feinberg, Richard Lin, Daniel Muskin- Pierret, and Philip Sequeira of Silver Spring; David Kaufman of Chevy Chase; Lisha Ruan, Audrey Shi, and Hannah Tsai of Rockville; and  John Shi of Potomac.

The T.N.T. team members include Justin Yu (captain), Isha Darbari, Emily Guthrie, and Kejin Wang of Silver Spring; Callie Deng and Bowen Zhi of Gaithersburg; Linda Kang of Rockville; and Sarah Wagner of Potomac.


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