Elena Christian Students Nab the St. Croix District Win in Underwater Robotics Contest

The Elena Christian Junior High team with their winning ROV.
The Elena Christian Junior High team with their winning ROV.

Elena Christian Junior High eighth-graders Arianna Edgar, Ajani Rosario and Louis Soto, along with coaches Nubaltha Martinez and Nelson Verdon, created the winning SeaPerch Remotely Operated Vehicle at a contest held at the Good Hope Country Day School swimming pool Saturday, April 7.

The team spent about a week meticulously measuring, cutting and connecting PVC pipes before soldering wires onto a control on the machine to create their winning SeaPerch ROV.

“We had a short time to prepare it and so we had to rush, but we got it all ready in time for the challenge,” Martinez said. “During the competition the students were given five minutes to control the vehicle remotely to move objects beneath the pool and they did it in about two minutes and 11 seconds.”

The ECJH team, who call themselves the Shock Waves, is now qualified to compete in the International SeaPerch Challenge, which will be held June 1-3 at the MacLean Campus Center of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

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“We are looking forward to this Challenge and we hope to do well,” Martinez said.

A team from the Arthur A. Richards Jr. High School was the sole challenger at the St. Croix contest. The Ivanna Eudora Kean High School Scuba Rays team in the St. Thomas-St. John district is also slated to tackle SeaPerch’s International Challenge this year.

In the SeaPerch Challenge, students use self-built underwater ROV’s to complete an underwater obstacle course that tests the speed and agility of the robot. The competition is sponsored by the V.I. Department of Education’s Office of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research, Science and Technology.

Students participate in the St. Croix District SeaPerch Challenge.

The SeaPerch Program provides students with the opportunity to learn about robotics, engineering, science, and math through the construction of an underwater ROV as part of a science, engineering and technology curriculum. Throughout the project, students learn engineering concepts, problem solving, teamwork, and technical applications. The innovative underwater robotics program equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build the underwater ROV in an in-school or out-of-school setting.

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