High school students from across the county descended on the Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) Aquatics Center on Friday morning.
More than 100 teams from PWCS, and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park took part in the annual Regional SeaPerch Competition.
The competition “integrates” science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM), according to PWCS’ Career and Technical Education (CTE) Supervisor Douglas Wright.
“Seaperch is a great activity for our students in high school. Typically, it’s a STEM/STEAM-related activity,” Wright said. “It’s our underwater robotics competition, and it gets the kids really excited, really involved.”
Designing the robots has served as an educational experience for participants.
“Seaperch is fun, it teaches you many new skills, like engineering and, just, problem solving,” said Eddie Lanham, a Colgan High School student.
Patrick Murray, a student at Seton School in Manassas, and his peers used problem-solving skills to address issues they faced.
Murray’s robot is based on the “standard seaperch.”
“We went through multiple iterations of different designs using less PBC, different distributions of the motors and we just kept running into balance issues … It would spin, it would just flip over, and it couldn’t pick up objects without just plummeting in,” Murray said. “And then, eventually, we went back to the standard design and we decided to use lighter and smaller pipe.”