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Underwater Competitions

Southern Miss Hosts Fourth National SeaPerch Challenge

The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS and the Mississippi Regional SeaPerch Committee hosted the Fourth National SeaPerch Challenge on the campus of Southern Miss, May 17, 2014. 108 teams of 451 middle and high school students from 19 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and for a first-ever international team from New Zealand, convened at the University’s Payne Center and Johnson Natatorium for a weekend of intense competition and fun-filled activities. The event set new records with a 30 percent increase in the number of teams and a 35 percent increase in student participation from last year. This fourth National Challenge was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Naval Engineering Education Center (NEEC) as well as ASNE, CISD, Lockheed Martin, Louisiana State University, Maritime Reporter, MathWorks, Mississippi State University, NRL, NAVSEA Warfare Center Division Newport, the Navy League, the Navy League STEM Institute, NDEP, SNAME, STEM2Stern and the University of Southern Mississippi.

Currently the AUVSI Foundation administers SeaPerch, and ONR has funded this popular educational outreach program since the end of 2007. During this time SeaPerch has experienced unprecedented growth with more than 180,000 students participating in virtually every state. With over 12,000 teachers and mentors engaged in the program over the past seven years, students have learned valuable life skills through hands-on activities and enhanced science curricula to discover the excitement of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as a potential future career path.

This innovative underwater robotics program supports teachers and provides curriculum enhancement in compliance with national standards to assist students in constructing this underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in an in-school, after school or out-of-school setting. Students build their own SeaPerch ROV following a curriculum that teaches science and engineering nomenclature, terminology and basic principles with an ocean and marine engineering theme. Because of its popularity and extraordinary rate of expansion in such a short time, a natural goal of the SeaPerch Program has been to develop geographical districts and regions where top winning teams from qualifying competitions could earn a slot at the annual National event.

2014 National SeaPerch Challenge Winners

First Place – Obstacle Course
Team Time or Points
Middle School
Red October
Newburgh, IN
0:41.63
High School
Gulf Coast Contenders Club
Saucier, MS
0:44.75
Open Class
Bloomington North Barbarians
Bloomington, IN
0:43.00
First Place – Heist Challenge
Team Time or Points
Middle School
Cynthia Heights Acro
Evansville, IN
4:57.33
High School
Gulf Coast Contenders Club
Saucier, MS
2:53.27
Open Class
Team Ageir
Gloucester, VA
3:37.92
First Place - Poster Presentation
Team Time or Points
Middle School
Neptune’s Nemesis
Gambrills, MD
81
High School
NZ Time Ruku
Nelson NZ
85
Open Class
Outside-the-Box
Manassas, VA
80
First Place – All Events
Team Time or Points
Middle School
Submersibles
Egg Harbor Township, NJ
9
High School
Gulf Coast Contenders Club
Saucier, MS
5
Open Class
Bloomington North Barbarians
Bloomington, IN
6
2014 National SeaPerch Champions
Champions
Gulf Coast Contenders Club
Saucier, MS
First runner-up
Atlantis
Charleston, SC
Second runner-up
Submersibles
Egg Harbor Township, NJ

Two special awards were also made to student teams this year. The Creativity Award, given to the team that demonstrated multiple unique design elements to tackle the challenges of this year’s competition, was presented to Team Outside-the-Box from Manassas, VA. The Engineering Excellence Award, demonstrating an innovative technical approach and execution during this year’s challenge, was presented to Team CPS TigerBots from Hanover, MD.

For location and information about the 2015 National Challenge, check www.seaperch.org this fall for the big announcement.


MATE International ROVE Competition

Watch it LIVE June 26-28 at www.marinetech.org

The Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center, the National Science Foundation, and the Marine Technology Society's (MTS) ROV Committee invite you to our 13th Annual International Student ROV Competition.

Sixty teams representing middle schools, high schools, home schools, after-school groups, community colleges, and universities from 18 different states and 13 different countries are scheduled to compete in this year's event, which is being held June 26-28, 2014 at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary (TBNMS) in Alpena, MI, USA.

This year’s contest focuses on shipwrecks, science, and conservation in our National Marine Sanctuaries. Students will pilot their ROVs to explore and document an unknown shipwreck, collect scientific samples, inventory invasive species, and remove trash and debris, among other tasks – all staged in the 80-foot diameter, 600,000 gallon tank at the TBNMS facility.

Each year the competition challenges students to think of themselves as “entrepreneurs.” Students are asked to form companies that design, build, and market their “product” as a way to gain a better understanding the breadth of real-world business operations. Along the way, they learn how to manage a project, work as a team, think creatively, and problem-solve, which are all important 21st century workplace skills.

During the event, a panel of judges – professionals representing industry, science, government, education, and exploration – will evaluate the companies on their ability to effectively communicate their vehicles' design and construction via technical reports, poster displays, and engineering evaluation interviews.

The competition will also feature the Ocean Career Expo, organized by the MATE Center and its partners in the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE).

We encourage you to join us! You can also visit the MATE competition web site at http://www.marinetech.org/ where a LIVE videostream (including scores, photos, and video clips) will be hosted during the event.

Jill Zande
MATE Center Associate Director & ROV Competition Coordinator