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NEWS | July 1, 2019

Sussex County returns to ISR with new UmptySquatch

By Brooke Marquardt, NSWCCD Public Affairs

For Sailors, an umptysquatch is the equivalent to when civilians say “thing-a-ma-jig,” referring to an object that’s actual name cannot be remembered right away. For a New Jersey high school, it is the name of their human-powered submarine.

The UmptySquatch comes from the Sussex County Technical School in Sparta Township, Sussex County, New Jersey. The teacher that manages this team is a retired Navy Lieutenant and allegedly told his students that there was no way he would show up to a naval basin with a name like that, but the name stuck. The team of 30 high school students that made up this team were enthusiastic and claimed this was the best year that they have had to date.

“This was barely an idea last September, so in about 10 months we saw it grow into something that actually works. To see it work the way you expect it to is amazing,” said Zachary Rauchbach.

“It’s also amazing to be a part of such a big team and to be working like a well-oiled machine is just an amazing experience to be a part of,” said Joshua Rubenstein. Rauchback and Rubenstein will be seniors when they return to school in the fall.