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    Two Brooklyn Schools Win Navy Regional SeaPerch Competition

    Two Brooklyn Schools Win Navy Regional SeaPerch Competition

    Photo By Chief Petty Officer Travis Simmons | Students from more than a dozen New York schools competing in the 2017 Northeast...... read more read more



    Story by Chief Petty Officer Travis Simmons 

    Navy Recruiting District New York

    Nearly 20 teams of middle and high school students from New York schools competed in the Navy's first 2017 Northeast Regional SeaPerch Challenge, March 18, at the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Aquatic Center in Queens.

    Brooklyn schools Rachel Carson High School for Coastal Studies and IS 281 Joseph B Cavallaro won overall and are eligible to compete in the 2017 National SeaPerch Competition, May 19- 20, to be held at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

    The SeaPerch Program is supported by the Office of Naval Research and integrates science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) as the students build an underwater, remotely-operated robotic vehicle.

    "One of our big initiatives is to get young students involved in STEM," said Lt. Cmdr. Craig Cardillo, from Navy City Outreach Northeast. "This is our SeaPerch challenge and we have four in the northeast area. This is just a culminating experience of them learning about STEM, putting it together and having fun."

    Throughout the project, students learn engineering concepts, problem solving, teamwork, and technical applications.

    "It's an early day for them and it's a Saturday, but the kids are still super excited and the teachers are excited," said Cardillo. "That's what it's all about; getting the kids interested and hopefully this will continue their growth and knowledge in the STEM fields."

    Students showed up in team shirts and cheered each other on as they took part in the various challenges. Each team of 4 to 6 students competed in categories of best design, team spirit, best obstacle time, challenge points winner, and best engineering notebook.

    "SeaPerch, in addition to the designing, building, and engineering aspects of everything, number one for me is the building of teamwork and sportsmanship," said Bruce Gamsey, science and robotics teacher at Marine Park Intermediate School, whose team made it to nationals in 2016. "I teach teams to brainstorm together; to come up with an idea they can work with. Trial and error is a huge part of this process. They're going to make mistakes and that's okay, and that's what I want them to learn. That not everything goes right the first time; that you have to go back to the drawing board."

    The program allows schools to teach many of the concepts required for their grade level using an entertaining, hands-on activity for students. During the build, students learn about submarine design, displacement, propulsion, vectors, soldering, circuitry, and depth measurement.

    "I go in and teach them the science behind it," said Gamsey. "I teach them about buoyancy. I teach them about circuitry. I teach them about propulsion. There's a lot of science involved in the SeaPerch program."

    Navy volunteers from Navy Operational Support Centers, recruiters and divers from Naval Sea Systems Command's Supervisor of Salvage and Diving participated in the challenge by facilitating, mentoring, and judging the events.

    "In order to get here the kids participate in the SeaPerch building process," said Senior Chief Navy Counselor Keri Levy, from Navy City Outreach Northeast. "They build this robot basically from scratch. It's a little bit of wiring, soldering and waterproofing, but they build these things from scratch in accordance with the rules and then they bring them out here to compete against each other."

    Levy highlighted the sportsmanship the middle and high school students had, as well as the motivation in the STEM topics. He said a middle school student early on in the challenge presented him a flyer about he builds computers from the ground up for people.

    "Just like sports teams, these guys work together hours on end and come together and they get to compete with their robots," said Levy. "There's just as much camaraderie as any sports competition I've been to."

    Any middle or high school, as well as after-school activities, with an interest in STEM can learn about adding the SeaPerch program into their curriculum by visiting



    Date Taken: 03.18.2017
    Date Posted: 03.24.2017 18:14
    Story ID: 228039
    Location: BROOKLYN, NY, US 

    Web Views: 150
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