Aqua Lasers, Brac Bots Dominate Again at Underwater Robotics Challenge

The John Gray Aqua Lasers and Layman E. Scott Brac Bots will represent the Cayman Islands for the second time at the 2019 International SeaPerch Challenge in College Park, Maryland, 1-2 June.

 



Twenty-four teams from eight schools across the Cayman Islands gathered at the pool at the Camana Bay Sports Complex, showcasing the Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) they designed, constructed and tested over the last several months. For the fourth year in a row, a team from John Gray High School won the Cayman Islands SeaPerch Challenge; and for the third year in a row - Alvan Boxwell, Caleb Feare, Diamond White and Matthew Feare - together known as the John Gray Aqua Lasers, won the Middle School division. The Layman E. Scott Brac Bots, Kenny Ryan and Joseph Wagner, have represented their school for the last two years, placing first in the High School division each time.

The Middle School division’s runner-ups were Raldayne Thomas and Romarco Morrison, the Layman E. Scott Giant Slayers, and the St. Ignatius Vindicators’ Charles Henderson and Michael Marzouca secured third place. In the High School division, the second and third place awards were won by two all-girl teams. The Layman E. Scott Robo-Unicorns, Tianna Grey and Mikayla Bryan, and John Gray’s Team MAJur, Melissa Bachet, Asaiah Thomas and Jada White represented well as first-time entrants in the challenge.

 This year’s competition included a number of new awards. The Aqua Lasers won the Innovation Award for designing and adding a magnetised clip to their ROV, to assist with the collection of objects while underwater. Newcomers Triple C School took home the Rookie award for their impressive first-time showing at the competition. St. Ignatius Catholic School aided a fellow team who were in need of repair parts to complete their timed segment and won the Sportmanship Award as a result. St. Ignatius also won the Teacher Award which was shared by Von Ryan Abrantes and James McGill, who together entered eight teams from their school in the competition this year.

The Cayman Islands SeaPerch Challenge has quadrupled since its first year, starting with only six teams and now boasting twenty-four. The programme is a hands-on integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with applications both inside and outside of the classroom. Students are required to prepare and submit an engineering journal where they log their activities during their Remote Operated Vehicles’ (ROVs) design and construction. In addition to quick manoeuvring required by the obstacle course, this year teams designed their ROV to carry out an underwater rescue mission.  

Minds Inspired presents the Cayman Islands SeaPerch Challenge each year in collaboration with Maples Group, Women’s International Shipping and Trade Association (WISTA) and London & Amsterdam. “The elevated STEM capabilities of Cayman’s students is becoming increasingly apparent in the growth of the Cayman Islands SeaPerch Challenge year-over-year,” said Dart Education Programmes Manager Glenda McTaggart. “Many schools have adopted the programme as a part of both classroom and extracurricular activities, giving students multiple opportunities to learn and apply STEM concepts.  The goal of Minds Inspired is to excite and engage Cayman’s students – getting them involved with STEM subjects and opening their eyes to the many careers that are STEM-based.”
 

 

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