ST. CROIX, USVI – Elena Christian Jr. High (ECJH) 8th graders Arianna Edgar, Ajani Rosario and Louis Soto, along with their coaches Nubaltha Martinez and Nelson Verdon spent about a week meticulously measuring, cutting and connecting PVC pipes, before soldiering wires onto a control on the apparatus to create their winning SeaPerch Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) for the challenge on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at the Country Day Good Hope School swimming pool.
“We had a short time to prepare it and so we had to rush but we got it all ready in time for the challenge,” Ms. Martinez said of the students’ underwater robot. “During the competition the students were given five minutes to control the vehicle remotely to move objects beneath the pool and they did it in about two (2) minutes and 11 seconds.”
Now the ECJH Shock Waves team is qualified to compete in the International SeaPerch Challenge June 1-3, 2018 at the MacLean Campus Center of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts. “We are looking forward to this Challenge and we hope to do well,” Martinez said. A team from the Arthur A. Richards Jr. High School was the sole challenger.
The Ivanna Eudora Kean High Scuba Rays team in the St. Thomas/St. John district is also slated to tackle SeaPerch’s International Challenge this year.
In the SeaPerch Challenge, students use self-built underwater ROV’s to complete an underwater obstacle course and challenge to test the speed and agility of the robot. The competition is sponsored by the Virgin Islands Department of Education, Office of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research, Science and Technology.
The SeaPerch Program provides students with the opportunity to learn about robotics, engineering, science, and math through the construction of an underwater ROV as part of a science, engineering technology curriculum. Throughout the project, students will learn engineering concepts, problem solving, teamwork, and technical applications. The innovative underwater robotics program equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build the underwater ROV in an in-school or out-of-school setting.