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Children from the Northern Virginia region were challenged to design and build an original robot in the First Lego League Northern Virginia regional Tournament Saturday, Nov. 20, at Eagle Ridge Middle School in Ashburn, where teams of children and mentors demonstrated their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship and sense of community. Among the participants was the 11- to 14-year-old boys' team from River Bend Middle School in Sterling, also known as Ravens Corp.

This year's challenge was called "No Limits." Under the guidance of coach Marion Clark, the 10 boys spent several hours each week researching and implementing robotics technology solutions to help individuals with different levels of physical abilities perform the everyday actions that many people take for granted. The competition was judged in five areas: research and presentation; robot performance; technical mechanics of the robot's construction; teamwork; and gracious professionalism.

While Ravens Corp did not finish in one of the top four places, their "Beltway" grocery delivery system showed a great deal of creative thinking as well as possible solutions to assist the physically challenged with grocery shopping.

Fourteen Park View High School Band members have been chosen to participate in honor bands at Virginia Tech, Shepherd University and George Mason University.

Six students will join the Shepherd University Honor Band on Jan. 6-8. Their concert will be held Jan. 8.

The students are Rachel Bingaman, flute/piccolo; Melissa Todd, clarinet; Kevin Jefferson, clarinet; Brittani Whitten, clarinet; Michelle Bunney, bass clarinet, and Wilson Robye, alto saxophone.

Six students will join the Virginia Tech Honor Band on Jan. 16-18. A concert is scheduled on the final day. More than 2,000 students from Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and Tennessee competed for the opportunity.

The students are Rachel Bingaman, flute; Kevin Jefferson, clarinet; Melissa Todd, clarinet; Yoel Sanchez, clarinet; Brittani Whitten, clarinet, and Lisa Morreale, oboe.

Brittani Whitten, clarinet, and Michelle Bunney, bass clarinet, were selected to participate in the George Mason University Honor Band earlier this month.