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Navy Hosts Underwater Robotics Competition
by U.S. Navy Chief Mass Communication Specialist Mark R. Alvarez
March 14, 2017

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High school students from across Silicon Valley, Ukiah, Santa Rosa and Sacramento, went head to head in an underwater robotics competition at the West Valley College, Feb. 18-19, 2017 to gain a berth at the 2017 National SeaPerch competition in May.

February 19, 2017 – High school students, competing in a regional SeaPerch competition, operate their remotely operated vehicles in the Skills event, during a regional SeaPerch competition held at West Valley College. SeaPerch is an underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources necessary to build an underwater remotely operated vehicle. Navy Recruiting District San Francisco in collaboration with Navy City Outreach Los Angeles, hosted more than 300 students, educators and parents in this two-day event to help promote an interest in science, technology, engineering and math careers. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Mark R. Alvarez)
February 19, 2017 – High school students, competing in a regional SeaPerch competition, operate their remotely operated vehicles in the Skills event, during a regional SeaPerch competition held at West Valley College. SeaPerch is an underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources necessary to build an underwater remotely operated vehicle. Navy Recruiting District San Francisco in collaboration with Navy City Outreach Los Angeles, hosted more than 300 students, educators and parents in this two-day event to help promote an interest in science, technology, engineering and math careers. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Mark R. Alvarez)

avy Recruiting District (NRD) San Francisco in collaboration with Navy City Outreach Los Angeles, hosted more than 300 students, educators and parents to a regional SeaPerch competition to promote interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

SeaPerch, an Office of Naval Research sponsored program, is an underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources necessary to build an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in an in-school or out-of-school setting. Students build the ROV from a kit comprised of low-cost, easily accessible parts, following a curriculum that teaches basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme.

“I might go into a career now in Engineering thanks to this experience,” said Logan Ruddick, Bradshaw Christian High School. “The best part of this competition was actually putting together this team and working together.”

NRD San Francisco distributed dozens of SeaPerch kits to schools across Northern California. Several schools were so enthusiastic about the program; they purchased additional kits in order to field multiple teams in the competition.

“We had a lot of setbacks during the design process, but eventually it all came together and we took first place,” said Indigo Funk. “I was never even considering any careers or opportunities in STEM until this.”

Naval Officers, local industry and NASA Ames Research Center engineers judged the 28 teams competing. The teams were judged on a project presentation, an underwater obstacle course, and an underwater skills trial. For the skills challenge, each ROV had to retrieve various objects from the pool floor and place them on an underwater rack.

February 18, 2017 – A SeaPerch underwater remotely operated vehicle, manipulates rings onto a rack, during a regional SeaPerch competition held at West Valley College. SeaPerch is an underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources necessary to build an underwater remotely operated vehicle. Navy Recruiting District San Francisco in collaboration with Navy City Outreach Los Angeles, hosted more than 300 students, educators and parents in this two-day event to help promote an interest in science, technology, engineering and math careers. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Mark R. Alvarez)
February 18, 2017 – A SeaPerch underwater remotely operated vehicle, manipulates rings onto a rack, during a regional SeaPerch competition held at West Valley College. SeaPerch is an underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources necessary to build an underwater remotely operated vehicle. Navy Recruiting District San Francisco in collaboration with Navy City Outreach Los Angeles, hosted more than 300 students, educators and parents in this two-day event to help promote an interest in science, technology, engineering and math careers. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Mark R. Alvarez)

“The young people participating in this competition truly represent the best Northern California has to offer,” said Cmdr. Joel Rodriguez, commanding officer, NRD San Francisco. “This event has been an exciting opportunity for the Navy to reach out to the local community and expose our young people to STEM.”

This two-day competition allowed NRD San Francisco to send a total of four teams to the National Championship. On the first day the overall winner of the competition was Bradshaw Christian High School, Sacramento, just edging past Santa Rosa High School, Santa Rosa. On day two it was Ukiah High School, Ukiah, which clinched the top two spots with Team Delta taking first and Team Pi in second.

By U.S. Navy Chief Mass Communication Specialist Mark R. Alvarez
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2017

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