Maranatha Science Club Underwater Robotics Teams Wins 4 Trophies in Regional Competition

L to R: Dr. Shohua Huang (2nd to left), David Minassian, Isaac Lee, Ethan Kita, Samantha Wu, Nate Nguyen, Ethan Coe-Renner, Erica De Guzman, and Dorothy Chen (2nd from right).

The Maranatha Science Club Underwater Robot Team (a.k.a. Maranatha SeaPerch) participated in the 2019 Navy City Outreach West Southern California Regional Competition SeaPerch Underwater Robot Showcase.

On March 2, at Troy High School in Fullerton, CA more than 30 teams from cities in the Southern California region competed against each other, using their design skills and operating capabilities on underwater robots. Supported by the leadership of Maranatha faculty members Dan Newkirk and Girma Aleme, and parent volunteer Jacky Chen, the Maranatha SeaPerch team practiced hard under a short time schedule, bad weather, and high pressure, but still managed to achieve excellence by earning second and third place trophies. Mr. Newkirk said, “I was incredibly impressed with our students’ performance under extremely challenging conditions and harsh weather. The wind and rain reduced visibility in the outdoor pool and added a wild-card element that was not exactly fair, but both teams stood head and shoulders above the rest of the competitors – both in terms of their rigorous preparation and excellent execution.”

The Maranatha SeaPerch teams that competed in Regionals were Team A which includes Maranatha senior Captain Erica De Guzman, senior Ethan Kita, and juniors Samantha Wu and Ethan Coe-Renner, and Team B which includes junior Captain David Minassian, senior Nate Nguyen, and freshmen Dorothy Chen and Isaac Lee. Team A won three 2nd Place trophies in “High School Overall,” “Engineering Notebook,” and “Challenge Mission,” and Team B achieved success in winning a 3rd Place trophy in the “Obstacle Course.”

SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in an in-school or out-of-school setting. Students build the ROV from a kit comprised of low-cost, easily accessible parts, following a curriculum that teaches basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme. The SeaPerch Program provides students with the opportunity to learn about robotics, engineering, science, and mathematics (STEM) while building an underwater ROV as part of a science and engineering technology curriculum. Throughout the project, students learn engineering concepts, problem solving, teamwork, and technical applications.

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