Top prize at the 2017 Cayman Islands SeaPerch Challenge went to a team of 11-year-old John Gray High School students. The Challenge took place this past weekend at the Camana Bay Sports Complex Pool, and the team of Diamond White, Davonte Howell, Alvan Boxwell and Caleb Feare earned an all-expenses paid trip to Atlanta, Georgia where they will represent the Cayman Islands at the International SeaPerch Challenge from 19-20 May. Over 60 high school students ranging from Years 7-12 (grades 9-11) from across the Cayman Islands took part in this year’s underwater robotics competition. This marks the second win for John Gray High School, who were the defending champions under the guidance of Electrical Technology teacher Mr. Desmond White.
The Aqua Razors, John Gray’s senior team, placed second overall followed by the Brac Seabots of Layman E. Scott High School, who took third and fourth place.
Students from John Gray High School, Clifton Hunter High School, St. Ignatius Catholic High School, Cayman Prep and High School, Cayman International School, Layman E. Scott High School and the University College of the Cayman Islands’ dual-entry programme all agreed that the greatest skill they developed from SeaPerch was teamwork. “I’ve learned that teamwork is important and our team definitely learned to work together better throughout the programme,” Cayman Prep and High student Dylan Boxwell said.
The SeaPerch programme is a hands-on integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematic concepts with applications both inside and outside of the classroom. Students are required to prepare and present an engineering journal where they log their activities during their Remote Operated Vehicles’ (ROVs) design and construction.
“During the programme, students encountered certain obstacles and had to collectively find a solution. SeaPerch allows them to engage in research and activities that enhance what the standard curriculum offers,” Clifton Hunter High School teacher, Mr. Christopher Harris, said.
“Programmes like SeaPerch encourage students to consider STEM-related subjects and potentially consider one of the many career areas in STEM,” said Glenda McTaggart, Education Programmes Manager at Dart Enterprises. “By building an ROV students learn engineering design concepts and test their designs in the competition. We were pleased to partner with Maples and WISTA who share our goal of getting students excited about robotics and STEM and given the success of the SeaPerch Challenge, I believe we have accomplished that goal.”