Roseland Park competes in robotics
Published 7:01 am Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Fifth and sixth grade students from Alicia Verwij’s class will represent Roseland Park Elementary at the SeaPerch competition in Biloxi on March 8.
SeaPerch is a robotics program that provides the resources students and teachers need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).
Verwij and her classes have been working on three different robots since January and will take one of the robots to compete in March.
She said her fourth, fifth and sixth grade classes each built a robot and designed a poster explaining the robot and what the students learned from the program. Each robot will compete in an in-house competition to decide what robot will compete.
Verwij explained the ROV would have to be able to submerge, remerge and compete in an obstacle course. She said during the obstacle course, the ROV would have to unlatch a door, drive through it, pick up boxes of various weights and carry the boxes to a destination.
Starting in January, students began the design process by improving upon the standard design given to the students in the building kits. The standard design doesn’t include a way for the ROV to pick up boxes, so students had to come up with their own design that would allow the ROV to compete in the obstacle course.
“The kids have done a phenomenal job through it all,” Verwij said.
Through participating in SeaPerch the students learned about ship and submarine designs, buoyancy and displacement, propulsion, circuits and switches, soldering tool safety and usage and waterproofing.
While most of Verwij’s fifth grade students said learning about the wiring and construction of the ROV was the best part of the project, there were a few students who got something else out of participating.
“I think (the best part was) us learning how to get along with each other,” said Zoe Rohrbacker.
This is the first year Roseland Park Elementary will participate in SeaPerch. Verwij and Principal Vicki Vaughn hope students will be able to participate in the competition in upcoming years.
“I think the whole experience was fun because we’ve never done anything like this,” said student Elise Duke.
As for their chances of winning at the competition, student Allie Dillard said, “We have a pretty good chance, but there are robot teams that have done it before.”