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NEWS | May 26, 2022

NSWCPD Spearheads Annual Underwater STEM Challenge: SeaGlide and SeaPerch 2022

By Jermaine Sullivan

The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division once again spearheaded the annual Greater Philadelphia SeaGlide and SeaPerch Challenge on April 28 (SeaGlide) and April 29 (SeaPerch), 2022.

Both SeaGlide and SeaPerch are underwater robotic competitions for middle school and high school students in the Greater Philadelphia Area. SeaGlide is an autonomous water challenge in which students design an underwater glider that moves on its own. SeaPerch is a user-operated water challenge in which students design an underwater vehicle that is controlled. All competitors were given a starter kit for their vehicles and encouraged to make modifications. These challenges were designed to spark interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

The purpose of NSWCPD sponsoring the event is to “inspire students or get a glimpse of getting a career in Naval Engineering,” said NSWCPD’s STEM Outreach Program Manager and mechanical engineer Tristan Wolfe.

The participating teams in SeaGlide included Academy Park High School, George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science, Solebury School, West Deptford High School, MOT Charter High School, Pennsbury High School, and STEM-UP.

Before the challenge days students must present their glider to the judges Wolfe explained, adding that students were to take on a fictional role at their own company.

SeaGlide’s challenges were broken into several events: Tier 1 and Tier 2 pool events, a Circuitry & Coding event, and a Bug Hunt event. The Tier 1 pool event challenged students to move their glider in a straight line; Jacob Cobb, a senior from West Deptford High School, was one of the only participants to complete this challenge. The Tier 2 pool event challenged students to navigate their glider around obstacles. Cobb, however, was the only student to successfully complete this event.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Cobb was unable to compete last year; however, despite being the sole representative from West Deptford, he was able to place second overall.

“I feel discouraged that there’s no other kids interested in it. I feel comfortable doing it on my own. It would’ve been great to have more help … I’m so interested in this and that got me through it (being the sole representative from my school),” Cobb said.

SeaGlide’s winners for this year were as follows:

Presentation Vehicle Performance – Tier 1
First – Pennsbury HS First – West Deptford HS
Second -- West Deptford HS Second – Pennsbury HS
Third – Academy Park HS Third -- MOT Charter HS

White Paper Vehicle Performance – Tier 2
First – Pennsbury HS First – West Deptford HS
Second -- West Deptford HS
Third – STEM-UP

Circuitry & Coding Overall Champion
First – Pennsbury HS First – Pennsbury HS
Second -- West Deptford HS Second – West Deptford HS
Third- GW Carver HSES Third – Academy Park HS

Bug Hunt
First – Pennsbury HS
Second -- West Deptford HS
Third GW Carver HSES

SeaPerch competitors were given a mission course and obstacle course. For the obstacle course competitors had to traverse through each obstacle as quickly as possible. The mission course simulated space exploration with a remote operated vehicle (ROV). Competitors completed tasks that their ROV might encounter.

The participating teams in SeaPerch were: B. Anderson School, Danville Middle School, Donald H. Eichhorn Middle School, George W. Nebinger School, Haddonfield Middle School, Holy Angels Catholic School, Northley Middle School, R.W. Brown Community Center, Snyder Middle School, Southeast Delco School District, St. Helena Blue Bell, STEM Scholars, Universal Vare STEM & Arts Academy, Cardinal O’Hara High School, Danville High School, Delaware Valley Friends School, Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls, Manchester Twp. High School, Merion Mercy Academy, Pennsbury High School, Radnor High School, Spring

View, and STEM-UP SeaPerch’s winners for this year were as follows:

Middle School Division

Presentation Vehicle Performance
First – Universal Vare STEM & Arts Academy First – St. Helena Blue Bell
Second – George W. Nebinger School Second – Haddonfield MS
Third – STEM Scholars Third – Universal Vare STEM & Arts Academy

Technical Design Report Engineering Design Process
First – Snyder MS First – Universal Vare STEM & Arts Second – Haddonfield MS Academy
Third – Universal Vare STEM & Arts Academy

Overall Champion
First -- Universal Vare STEM & Arts Academy
Second – Haddonfield MS
Third – St. Helena Blue Bell

High School Division

Presentation Vehicle Performance
First – Danville HS First – Danville HS
Second – Delaware Valley Friends School Second – Manchester Township HS
Third – Merion Mercy Academy Third – STEM-UP

Technical Design Report Engineering Design Process
First – Danville HS First – Danville HS
Second – Little Flower Catholic HS for Girls
Third – STEM-UP

Overall Champion
First – Danville HS
Second – STEM-UP
Third – Marion Mercy Academy

The award ceremony was held on May 5, 2022.