Robotics competitions usually take place on the ground. But recently, students raced robots in the water.
“I’m just excited to be here and that I actually made it to this,” said Dazja Dorsey, 8th grader at Pimlico Elementary/Middle School. “I hope that my robot doesn’t sink!”
Ten of the district's schools competed in the Baltimore Regional SeaPerch Competition at the Univeristy of Maryland, Baltimore, on March 26. The competition included a race and an obstacle course with underwater hula hoops. Students used a simple kit to build their robots and a remote control to operate them. (Scroll down for photos and video of the robots in action.)
“The challenge was to get used to building the controls and having it actually work,” said Isaiah Gambale, 11th grader at Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School. “It was something new that I had never tried before.”
Dr. Charles Johnson-Bey, a graduate of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, organized the event. “I’m from Baltimore. I have a passion for teaching. I really feel that if I don’t do it, who else is going to do it?”
The SeaPerch program, funded by the Office of Naval Research, helps students develop basic shipbuilding and design skills while teaching them about science and engineering.
Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School won the high school division, and Moravia Park Elementary/Middle School won the middle school division. They will join W.E.B. DuBois High School, Achievement Academy at Harbor City High School and Maritime Industries Academy at the national competition in Manassas, VA, on April 12.