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    Connecticut Submarine Force Sailors Help Students Compete in SeaPerch Underwater Robotics Challenge

    Connecticut Submarine Force Sailors Help Students Compete in SeaPerch Underwater Robotics Challenge

    Photo By Seaman Maxwell Higgins | 220303-N-MQ631-1046 A Sailor assigned to Naval Submarine Support Facility Groton...... read more read more

    SIMSBURY, Conn. - Sailors and personnel from Naval Submarine Base New London (SUBASE), Naval Submarine Support Facility Groton (NSSF), and the Submarine Force Museum (SFM) fittingly helped the American School for the Deaf (ASD) lead an inaugural underwater robotics challenge focused on engaging deaf and hard of hearing students in building, operating, and competing underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) in early March.
    The “International Deaf/Hard of Hearing SeaPerch Challenge” brought together 16 teams from six schools for the deaf and was held at the Ethel Walker School pool.
    The Navy and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) has long been involved in the SeaPerch science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education program, which is now international.
    ASD organizers had reached out to Jennifer Bourque, SFM Education Outreach Director, to involve Sailors and personnel from the museum and commands at SUBASE in their challenge.
    Bourque helped organize two STEM presentations for students the day before the competition and Navy divers to help in the pool for the day of the competition.
    The STEM presentations involved a scientific method activity on sea pressure vs. depth, and a navigation activity using sextants and compasses.
    “Talking to these kids about our experiences and how important a good STEM education is to the Navy was awesome,” said Machinist Mate (Nuclear) 1st Class Brendan Perry from the SFM.
    Of course, actually helping each team perform and put their technology to the test in the pool was even better, according to Perry.
    The SeaPerch challenge started with a brief explanation of the rules and time limits for the two underwater obstacle courses set up in the pool by NSSF’s divers. The student teams then put their underwater ROVs to the real challenge, nimbly or not-so-nimbly, navigating the courses.
    “The event was a great success,” said Chief Navy Diver Jayson Wazny of NSSF. “Our team not only setup and broke-down the courses, we also recovered ROVs that were fouled in the obstacles, stopped working, or malfunctioned. Once a student team completed a course, one of our Navy Divers, ND2 Connor Yentz or ND2 Blake Herman, would reset the course for the next run.”
    When all runs were completed, the SeaPerch teams from the Alabama School for the Deaf, the North Carolina School for the Deaf, and the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf were overjoyed to come out on top and the Sailors and personnel from the SFM and NSSF were just as thrilled to have helped in the challenge.
    “We were just ecstatic to go to the event and make an impact for these great kids,” said Perry.
    The three SeaPerch teams (self-named: Baby Yoda, Hype Ninja, and Daddy Shark) will travel to the International Sea Perch Challenge in Maryland in June where they will compete with hearing students and teams from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, Australia, and many other countries.
    SeaPerch is a cornerstone of RoboNation, Inc., an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a pathway of hands-on educational experiences that empower students to find innovative solutions to global challenges. For more information visit
    ONR has been a sponsor of the SeaPerch program and its contributions to teaching students the basics of naval engineering and marine science. For more information about ONR K-12 Programs, Higher Education, or Diversity Initiatives, visit



    Date Taken: 03.05.2022
    Date Posted: 03.30.2022 13:31
    Story ID: 417491
    Location: CT, US

    Web Views: 328
    Downloads: 0