Congratulations to Ewa Elementary, Highlands Intermediate, Ewa Makai Middle and Radford High for their first-place finishes in the 2016 SeaPerch Oahu Regional Qualifying Competition for underwater robotics. A total of 39 teams from ten elementary, four middle and intermediate and four high schools took part in the highly competitive event at the US Coast Guard's Base Honolulu.
Each team designed and fabricated a submersible remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and demonstrated controlled underwater navigation, maneuverability and sound engineering design in timed challenges.
The first challenge was to pilot the ROVs through an Obstacle Course comprised of large rings oriented in all directions. Students needed to use teamwork, clear communication and decisive piloting skills to complete the complex course in one direction, surface, re-submerge and return through the course in reverse order as quickly as possible.
Teams also faced the Orbs Challenge, which required precise ROV piloting skills to release and retrieve wiffle balls, golf balls, baseballs and softballs and carefully place them into floating or submerged scoring areas, all in the shortest amount of time.
Teams also prepared presentations for judges to describe their their unique ROV build designs, training methods and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills needed for their creations. Elementary and middle school teams developed three-minute videos, high school teams made verbal presentations and each team from all grade levels presented poster board displays to share the development of their ROVs and piloting skills.
The winning teams are now qualified to attend the SeaPerch 2016 National Challenge on May 20 to 21, at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Over 150 qualified teams from all 50 states are expected to compete in a juried poster competition and in-pool technical events with their ROVs.