2018 International SeaPerch Challenge



Gulf Coast State College, March 9, 2018 

More than 72 teams of students participated in the Northwest Florida regional 2018 International SeaPerch Challenge at Gulf Coast State College. The event is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and managed by RoboNation.

What started out as a project in a children’s book over ten years ago has transformed into an international event beloved by students  and teachers around the world. This initiative is fondly known as  SeaPerch, and was initially developed as a method of growing the Ocean Engineering Program at MIT. After realizing the potential this program could have as a learning opportunity for more than just college students and teachers, SeaPerch sought and received funding from ONR and expanded into a global outreach program within K-12 schools, teaching them robotics as well as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Students build their ROVs from kits using PVC pipe, circuit boards, and thruster motors and then compete to see who can best navigate them through an underwater obstacle course. In the process of building their SeaPerch vehicles, students learn tool safety and technical procedures to get hands-on experience with basic marine engineering, design and science concepts.

Prior to the Northwest Florida regional SeaPerch event, Daniel Flisek, Kinsey Taylor, Harrtel Philippeaux, and Kevin Powell from Navy Support Activity – Panama City spent many hours at TechFarms designing and building a new obstacle course for this years’ competition. Two of which, according to Mr. Flisek, will be the same ones to be used at the upcoming national competition. This is the third year that TechFarms and NSA – Panama City personnel have collaborated to build the obstacle courses and other items for the events.

The winners of 2018’s NWFL regional SeaPerch Challenge are:

High School
Teacher:  Tami McConnell
School:  Navarre HS, Santa Rosa County
Students:  Miguel Homar, Tiara Winbery

Middle School
Teacher:  Jay Buddhi, Morgan Sansbury

School:  Surfside MS, Bay County Students:  Samantha Persons, Lena Ottinger, Chritina Kennedy, Taylor Winterich

Teacher:  Julian “Trey” Paul
School:  Poplar Springs School, Holmes County
Students:  Joseph Godwin, Bryson Potts

TechFarms congratulates the winners and all the students that participated in this years’ event, and wishes the winning teams good luck as they go on to participate in the International SeaPerch Challenge finals to be held this year on June 2nd at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

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