Robotics Goes Aquatic
December 14, 2010
More than 500 students convened at the Manassas Park Community Center for the recent SeaPerch Underwater Robotics regional competition. The annual event brought together participants from nine Prince William County (PWCS) high schools along with students from Manassas Park High School, Osbourn High School, and Seton School over the course of two days for STEM-related (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) underwater games, which include recovery, maneuvering, relay, and collaboration.
For PWCS students, SeaPerch underwater robotics is a 10-week unit that is integrated into the ninth-grade PWCS “Foundations of Technology” course in the Career and Technical Education curriculum. Students build their version of an underwater robot originally designed at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). As students design the robots, they learn engineering concepts, problem solving, teamwork, and technical applications. They also have the opportunity to participate in an end-of-the-term design competition.
SeaPerch is sponsored by MIT, the Office of Naval Research, and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. The local competition was made possible through the effort of over 200 volunteers from the business community who worked with students from PWCS and the neighboring area this year. Organizations supporting the PWCS initiative include SPARK (the PWCS Education Foundation), the Manassas Park Community Center, Lockheed Martin, Micron Technology, and BB&T.
Woodbridge High School won Second Place in the Overall Winner category during the December 2 competition and Gar-Field High School won First, Second, and Third Place on December 3.
“Together with leaders in business we know that investment in STEM education, with activities such as SeaPerch, will drive innovation, fuel job growth, and maintain our competitive edge,” said Superientendent of Schools Dr. Steven L. Walts.