August 6, 2020

College of Education Hosts SeaPerch Competition

On Saturday, June 1, the College of Education hosted a SeaPerch competition for local high schools.  The competition was organized by the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Dahlgren. The SeaPerch program, funded by the Office of Naval Research, is an innovative underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in an in-school or out-of-school setting.

Twelve teams from four schools (King George Middle School, Colonial Beach High School, Locust Grove Middle School and Prospects Heights Middle School) took part in the competition.  Teams guided their remote-controlled submersibles through a series of tasks, such as retrieving rope hoops from an underwater rack and navigating an underwater obstacle course.  The course, set up by Navy divers, was located on the bottom of the Goolrick Hall Pool.

The high school winner was Jason Vickery from Colonial Beach and the middle school winner was Ben Coffey from King George. Jason had the most points from the underwater challenge and Ben had the fastest time through the obstacle course.

John Wright, the STEM coordinator from the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division worked with George Meadows, Professor in the College of Education to bring the event to UMW.  Mr. Wright is planning for an even bigger competition next year.