With a national title on the line, student teams from across the country are competing with their underwater robots in the Office of Naval Research (ONR)-funded championship in Manassas Park, Va.
The 2012 National SeaPerch Challenge brings top teams from middle and high school together to compete with the underwater robots they’ve built as part of a curriculum designed to boost their skills and interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The SeaPerch program is an initiative under the Department of the Navy’s STEM Coordination Office, which facilitates outreach efforts across the service. The chief of naval research, Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, presented awards to winning teams.
“SeaPerch provides an affordable entry point for underwater robotics, and, from there, directional arrows to other science and engineering competitions and internships—it’s an easy-to-follow ‘yellow brick road’ approach,” said Kelly Cooper, program officer, ONR Sea Platforms and Weapons division. “The goal is to expand student awareness and encourage them to pursue STEM education and careers.”