Inaugural Louisiana Regional SeaPerch Competition Promotes STEM Education in Middle Schools

04/11/16

The first and only Louisiana Regional SeaPerch competition boasted nearly 10 school teams from around the state, including Baton Rouge, Shreveport and even a team from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Nearly 50 (verify—how many per team?) student competitors vied for a chance to advance to nationals at the regional challenge on Saturday, April 9.

At the C.B. Pennington Jr. YMCA, middle and high school teams operated hand-built Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) from kits comprised of low-cost, easily accessible supplies such as PVC pipe.

SeaPerch program director Bridgette Davis said she is thrilled with the outcome of the first Louisiana Regional SeaPerch competition.

“It was truly a great event, and it is so amazing to see the excitement that SeaPerch instills in students,” she said. “We are looking forward to another great SeaPerch event when the national competition is held at LSU in May.”

The regional competition was busy and exhausting, CHSE graduate research assistant Krystie Nguyen said, but the event was worth the hard work.

“It is unbelievable how much everyone put forth with the amount of dedication, work, determination, resiliency, and tenacity for us all to finally see it materialize into something so magical: seeing the art of students learning, developing, growing, and playing,” Ngyuen said. “Seeing SeaPerch in action reminds me that what we do as LSU Tigers and Tiger partners is so important and necessary for our university, community, and nation!”

SeaPerch is a national curriculum used in all 50 states and Puerto Rico as an opportunity for students to gain hands-on knowledge about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) principles. Additionally, the students gain crucial teamwork and problem-solving skills throughout the SeaPerch-building process and at competitions.

Why is SeaPerch important? STEM occupations are among the fastest growing in our country. One million STEM professionals are needed in the next decade to meet the growing demand of STEM careers, and LSU prepares more teachers for the classroom than any other college or university in the state.

Aspiring science teacher and CHSE student Autumn Swaney said though she was never previously involved in any robotics curriculums, the evident passion and excitement at the regional competition is a clear indicator that innovative programs like SeaPerch are crucial to developing an early love for STEM.

“The passion that the students displayed yesterday while explaining their team’s challenges, successes, and planning process was immense,” Swaney said. “It is evident that the involvement with the SeaPerch program has made an impact on these student's desire to discover new mathematical and physical science techniques.”

The winners of the first Louisiana Regional SeaPerch competition are:

National Qualifiers

High School:  Oak Gove High School

Middle School:  Boyet Junior High, Boyet Robotic Team

Special Awards

Least Adjusted SeaPerch – Captiol Middle Magnet Sea Cougars Blue

Most Creative SeaPerch – Scotlandville Middle Magnet, Technogeeks ROV, Inc.

Sportsmanship Award – Scotlandville Middle Magnet, SPEMA Sea Stallions

T-shirt Award – Capitol Middle Magnet, Sea Cougars Red

Overall

3rd Place:  Boyet Junior High, Boyet Robotic Team

2nd Place:  North Caddo Magnet, North Caddo Robotics

1st Place:  Oak Gove High School

Middle School

Middle School Poster

3rd Place:  Scotlandville Middle Magnet, Technogeeks ROV, Inc.

2nd Place:  Boyet Jr. High, Boyet Robotic Team

1st Place:    Scotlandville Middle Magnet, SPEMA Sea Stallions

Middle School Obstacle

3rd Place:  Baton Rouge International School, BRIS Falcons

2nd Place:  Kenilworth, Kenilworth Dolphins

1st Place:   Boyet Jr. High, Boyet Robotic Team

Middle School ORBS

3rd Place:  Kenilworth, Kenilworth Dolphins

2nd Place:  Baton Rouge International School, BRIS Falcons

1st Place:  Boyet Jr. High, Boyet Robotic Team

High School

High School Poster

3rd Place:  Pine High School, iPine

2nd Place:  Oak Grove High School,

1st Place:  North Caddo Magnet High, North Caddo Robotics

High School Obstacle

3rd Place:  Pine High School, iPine

2nd Place:  North Caddo Magnet High, North Caddo Robotics

1st Place:  Oak Grove High School

High School ORBS

3rd Place:  Pine High School, iPine

2nd Place:  North Caddo Magnet High, North Caddo Robotics

1st Place:  Oak Grove High School

Are you interested in experiencing SeaPerch? The National SeaPerch Competition is coming right here to LSU this May 20-21! Don’t miss out on an exciting, innovative volunteer opportunity.

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