$750,000 Naval Grant supports Gulf Coast Regional SeaPerch Challenge


LSU School of Education assistant professor Dr. Bridgette L. Davis will serve as the director of the 4th Annual Gulf Coast Regional SeaPerch Challenge underwater robotics competition Saturday, April 25, 2015 at the Biloxi Natatorium in Biloxi, MS from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in an in-school or out-of-school setting. Students build the ROV from a kit comprised of low-cost, easily accessible parts, following a curriculum that teaches basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme.

The SeaPerch Program provides students with the opportunity to learn about robotics, engineering, science, and mathematics (STEM) while building an underwater ROV as part of a science and engineering technology curriculum. Throughout the project, students will learn engineering concepts, problem solving, teamwork, and technical applications.

This year’s event comes on the heels of a recently awarded a $750,000 research grant to Dr. Davis and the Gulf Coast Institute for STEM Literacy program from the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. The funds will be applied toward researching the use of STEM learning modules to improve middle and high school science academic achievement and increase attitudes towards STEM careers.

Underwritten by the Stennis Center’s Naval Research Lab, the event will host 25 teams of middle and high school students from South Louisiana and Mississippi competing with underwater robots with the aid of naval engineers who will judge the competition and aid in any necessary repairs over the course of the day.