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ACPS Educator Receives State Robotics Award

Mr. Barry Hartung, Coordinator for the Robotics program at ACPS, was recently named Maryland Adult Coach Mentor of the Year for the First Lego League (FLL). This award was presented at the FLL State Championships held at the University of Maryland Baltimore County last month. 

"This is quite an honor to receive the FLL Coach/Mentor award, given the fact that there were more than 100 coaches involved throughout the state,” said Joseph Brewer, Supervisor of Career and Technology Education and Library Media. “Not only has Mr. Hartung had an impact on the students he coaches at West Side, but through his work with REACT, he has been able to impact students throughout the county."

The Maryland Adult Coach Mentor of the Year award goes to the coach or mentor whose wisdom, guidance, and devotion are most evident in the team's nomination to the judges. Mr. Hartung has been essential to the success of robotics in Allegany County. He has coordinated the coaches' training, handled the logistical details of running the local robotics tournament, and has coached several teams.

"Coaching robotics has been a fun experience and a unique challenge,” says Barry Hartung ACPS Robotics Coordinator. “Robotics tests children's ability to learn and apply skills creatively and organically. This, in turn, challenges me to be a step ahead in providing them the tools and teaching them the skills they need to adapt and progress in their efforts. Seeing their enthusiasm as they turn obstacles into accomplishments makes it more than worthwhile." 

This past season, ACPS sponsored a total of 22 teams that competed in three different divisions throughout the year.  At the FLL level, ACPS sent three teams to the state tournament - two teams from West Side that were coached by Mr. Hartung, and one team from Beall Elementary. 

Congratulations to Mr. Hartung and to all of our students, teachers, and volunteers who participated in the FLL Robotics season.