Page 4: of Marine Technology Magazine (March 2012)

Subsea Vehicle Report – Unmanned Underwater Systems

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4MTRMarch 2012 news Building on the success of the first- ever National SeaPerch Challenge held last year in Philadelphia, this year?s expanded challenge will be hosted by the Prince William County Schools on April 12-13, 2012 at the Manassas Park Community Center in Manassas, Va. Nearly 75 teams, con- sisting of four students and one adultleader each, from school districts and after school club/groups including 4- H, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will assemble for the event. As Susan Nelson, Executive Director of SeaPerch, said, ?We are pleased with the increase in the num- ber of teams from 38 last year to near- ly 75 teams this year. The growth in the program has been remarkable, and the fact that so many of the localteams are willing to hold regional competitions and send their topteams to the National Challenge is a true win.? Including additional stu- dent and adult observers, parents, volunteers, judges, VIP?s, speakers and committee members, a totalattendance of 450 is projected in Manassas Park. The SeaPerch program was designed for students to learn impor-tant principles of science and engi-neering by assembling, troubleshoot- ing, testing, operating and competingwith their own Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The program, now in its sixth year, is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and administered by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Foundation (AUVSIF), with major support for the National Challenge from the Naval Engineering Education Consortium (NEEC). ?The National Challenge was made possible both last year and this because of the grants provided by NEEC, and in these difficult fundingtimes, they came through to help defray the majority of the costs asso-ciated with the event and we are grateful for this continuing support,? added Nelson. Because of ONR?s commitment to SeaPerch, which introduces K-12 students to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) through underwa- ter robotics, the program has grown exponentially, reaching over 40,000 students to date. With over 4000 trained teachers and mentors partici- pating as well, students are learning through this hands-on activity by fol- lowing an established academic cur- riculum to discover the excitement of STEM as a potential future career path. The program reaches a diverse pop- ulation, so participants in the Challenge will be students across the country, from inner city Baltimore to rural Mississippi to Native American reservations in Minnesota to the islands of Hawaii, all students who have been introduced to STEM through SeaPerch. Competition day, Thursday, April 12, will begin with an opening cere- mony, immediately followed by the poster and pool competitions. The SeaPerch ROV technical competition events in the pool will consist of an underwater obstacle course as well as a new salvage operations competition that is different from last year?s event, a description of which may be foundon the SeaPerch website under ?Rules and Events? on the National Challenge page. Anyone interested in volunteering to judge an event may visit seaperch to register. Next year, the National SeaPerch Challenge will be held on the campusof Indiana University-Perdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). For news and updates about the National Challenge, visit the SeaPerch website,, and for questions contact Phil Kimball, Program Director, at What:SeaPerch Challenge When: April 12-13, 2012Where: Manassas, VA National Competition Set for AprilSeaPerch Challenge MTR#2 (1-17):MTR Layouts 2/21/2012 9:42 AM Page 4

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