The Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge is open to middle schools and high schools in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware region. The goal is to increase student interest in robotics, science, mathematics, engineering and technology and to introduce students to naval engineering. The event is structured to give students an overall experience in the engineering process.
The first category, Vehicle Performance, is a test of how well the students did in designing and building their Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The second category, Poster Presentation, is a test of how well the students can convey their engineering ideas and market their ROV. The third category, Design Notebook, is a test of the students organizational and documentation capabilities. The fourth category, Spirit & Sportsmanship, is a test of the students’ capabilities to recognize and encourage better solutions and engineering. To learn more about SeaPerch, then check out our "Introduction to SeaPerch" video.
MIT Sea Grant's new SeaPerch program introduces pre-college students to the wonders of underwater robotics. Part of the Office of Naval Research's initiative, "Recruiting the Next Generation of Naval Architects," this program teaches students how to build an underwater robot (called a SeaPerch), how to build a propulsion system, how to develop a controller, and how to investigate weight and buoyancy. This endeavor is one of many exciting new projects funded by the Office of Naval Research as part of its National Naval Responsibility Initiative. The initiative focuses on bringing academia, government and industry to work together to ensure that the talent needed to design the Navy's next generation of ships and submarines will be there when needed.
The American Society of Naval Engineers Delaware Valley Chapter (ASNE-DV) and the Philadelphia Naval Surface Warfare Center brought the SeaPerch program to Philadelphia. In the spring of 2005, Drexel University hosted a teacher training and through contact with the School District of Philadelphia's Office of College and Career Awareness Secondary Robotics Initiative the idea for hosting the first ever SeaPerch competition came about. The Secondary Robotics Initiative brought the Delaware Valley Industrial Research Center (DVIRC) on board as a partner to round out the industrial expertise.
On Saturday, June 3, 2006, the first ever Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge Sea Search and Rescue was held at Drexel University. After experiencing a successful year, the team continued to work together to bring the program throughout the Tri-state area. In the Spring of 2016, Temple University's College of Science and Technology began hosting the Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge. In 2017, the SeaGlide Challenge was introduced as and exhibition event. The Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch and SeaGlide Challenge continues to be a successful avenue to engage young minds in STEM through the use of robotics.
What is SeaGlide?
SeaGlide is a miniature underwater glider designed for high school students. It moves by changing its buoyancy, taking in or expelling water, and shifting its center of gravity, moving weight forward to dive and aft to rise. This change in buoyancy and center of gravity, called a buoyancy engine, causes the glider to dive and rise in the water. As the glider is completing its dive and rise cycles its wings generate lift, propelling the glider forward. Full scale underwater gliders deploy for months at a time to collect valuable data about the world’s oceans. SeaGlide can't run for months at a time, but it can collect temperature and pressure data as it flies through the water.
In 2017, a select number of high school teams participated in a SeaGlide Pilot Competition. The objective of the Greater Philadelphia SeaGlide pilot program was to introduce the concept of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to high school students using the SeaGlide program model. This program is intended to provide high school teams with an opportunity to expand their Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) engagement beyond what is currently offered through SeaPerch.
The pilot competition was divided into four sections: