The John Gray Aqua Lasers Too team of Diamond White, Davonte Howell, Alvan Boxwell and Caleb Feare placed seventh overall out of 81 schools in the middle school segment of this year’s International SeaPerch Challenge at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth June 1 – 3.
The Brac Bots team of Kenny Ryan and David Tibbetts placed 21st out of 76 schools in the high school division of the competition.
SeaPerch is a robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle, or ROV. During the competition, students test their vehicles, navigate an obstacle course and compete in specific challenges.
Aqua Lasers Too coach Desmond White said the team’s performance is “quite commendable.”
“They worked very hard in their preparations and represented the Cayman Islands with pride,” he said. “The lessons learned from their seventh place placement will serve them well as they look forward to the opportunity to earn a place in the competition again next year.”
The Aqua Lasers was also one of 10 teams selected to present their understanding of engineering principles and design concepts through an engineering notebook at this year’s International SeaPerch Challenge.
Brac Bots coach Michael Bryan said the team was heartened by the unwavering support given them. “Our team views participation in the international event as a valuable learning experience,” he said. More than 200 student teams participated at the international challenge, including regional winners from middle and high schools as well as from 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, homeschoolers and other groups who have earned the right to compete against their peers on the national stage. The Cayman Islands SeaPerch Challenge, at which the John Gray Aqua Lasers Too and Brac Bots teams qualified for the International finals, was held on March 3 at the Camana Bay Sports Complex pool.
That competition was presented in partnership by Dart’s Minds Inspired programme, the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association and the law firm of Maples and Calder. “We are delighted to see such impressive results from the Aqua Lasers and Brac Bots teams, and are proud of how well the teams represented Cayman,” said Dart Education Programmes Manager Glenda McTaggart. The long-term goal of the Cayman Islands SeaPerch Challenge is to encourage more students to study STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — subjects and ultimately, pursue STEM-related careers.
“With the expanding growth of the global marine engineering industry and Cayman’s own maritime heritage, developing young people is critical for the Cayman Islands to emerge as a leader,” said McTaggart. Those interested in participating in the 2019 SeaPerch Challenge can inquire at the schools or contact [email protected]