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Looking at the way they carried themselves, you would never know they were still in high school. Team Red, ironically decked out in matching blue shirts, had just finished showing off a video game it had built from scratch. The game was good enough to have landed it a spot in the U.S. Imagine Cup finals, and the team members were feeling good about it after presenting it to a panel of judges.
“We practiced profusely last night,” said Ryan Rehfuss, one of four juniors on the team from Springbook High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. His voice was steady and loud as while being filmed for a video story.
“We feel like we made a good presentation. Winning would be nice, but we know we’re going up against college students. We definitely came here for the experience,” he said.
Teammate David Dellomy agreed.
“We won by just being here,” he said. “We’re the only high school team here.”
In the video game, the player’s airplane crashes on a deserted island where there just happens to be a lot of trash that flows by in the ocean. The gamers have to dig through the trash to find stuff that can help them fix the plane.
“In finding trash they can use, the game players discover the beauty of the island,” said Pat Yongpradit, the team’s mentor and its computer sciences teacher at Springbrook High School.
He said the goal is to get the players motivated about recycling in their own lives.
Now, Team Red, like all 20 teams in the competition, is sitting on pins and needles as it waits to see if it will advance to the finals. Finalists will be announced Sunday afternoon and winners named on Monday.