Last year's SeaPerch Challenge champions were, from left, Alvan Boxwell, Davonte Howell, Diamond White and Caleb Feare. - Photo: Dejavu Cayman

The 2018 Cayman Islands SeaPerch Challenge Underwater Robotics Competition is to return to Camana Bay for its third year.

Twenty-one teams from seven high schools across Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac will participate in a series of in-pool technical events at the Camana Bay Sports Complex Pool, located at Cayman International School, Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

High school students have been practicing their engineering skills in preparation of this event, which is hosted by Dart Minds Inspired, Maples and Calder, and the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association. They are competing for the chance to represent their school at the International SeaPerch Challenge on June 1 at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth.

The participating schools are Cayman International School, Cayman Prep and High School, Clifton Hunter High School, Hope Academy, John Gray High School, Layman E. Scott Senior High School (Cayman Brac) and St. Ignatius Catholic School.

Dart Minds Inspired hosts an interactive training session for staff involved in the schools and provides schools with Remote Operated Vehicle kits that students are required to build, test and operate. In addition to this, students are tasked with research applications such as monitoring marine life and collecting and testing water samples. SeaPerch participants are also required to document their design, construction and modification process in an engineering journal that is graded by the judges ahead of the competition.

John Gray High School will be defending its title as the Cayman Islands SeaPerch champions, having placed first for the past two years.

2017 champions, the JGHS “Aqua Lasers” – Diamond White, Davonte Howell, Alvan Boxwell and Caleb Feare – finished sixth out of 73 teams in the Middle School Division at last year’s International SeaPerch Challenge in Atlanta, Georgia. Their engineering journal placed fifth overall, demonstrating their advanced knowledge and understanding of marine engineering concepts.

Members of the public interested in seeing the underwater robots firsthand are welcome to stop by the Camana Bay Sports Complex anytime between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Admission is free. For more about SeaPerch and other Dart Minds Inspired events, email [email protected]

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