The Advanced Green Technologies-sponsored Sea Owls from FAU High School traveled to Embry-Riddle University in Daytona Beach, FL for the State-level SeaPerch Underwater ROV competition. SeaPerch is sponsored by the U.S. Navy. Our team won 1st place in the Spontaneous Challenge (where they had to quickly modify their underwater ROV to catch fish in a simulated oil spill), 2nd place in the Poster Presentation, and 3rd place overall in the State which qualifies the FAU High Sea Owls to compete at the SeaPerch National Competition. Nationals are to be held at Purdue University in Indianapolis, Indiana on May 18th, 2013.
The National SeaPerch competition consists of an underwater obstacle course where students are given 15 minutes to navigate through 5 hoola-hoop sized rings, surface, then dive and navigate their way back to the start/finish line. Our best driver can do this in 1 minute flat!!! The other underwater challenge at the National SeaPerch competition involves retrieving rope rings from a rack that is 15 feet away and depositing the rings in one of two milk-crates. Half of the rings on the rack are at 3 ft deep, the rest are at 7 ft deep. The milk-crates are at 3 ft deep and 7 ft deep. The milk-crate at 7 ft deep has a cover on it to reduce the size of the opening to make it more challenging. Our best driver can get a perfect score (all rings in the bottom crate) in under the 15 minutes allowed for the course! Unfortunately, during this weekend’s event, the weather played a pretty big factor as the pool was outdoors. We didn’t get a good time on the obstacle course or a high score on the ring challenge because the wind was making visibility nearly zero (thus the 3rd place finish). Later in the day, the wind subsided giving some teams a distinct advantage. The national competition will be indoors, so the weather will not hinder our students from doing their best in ALL events.