UACES Facebook Homemade remote-controlled submersibles battle it out in 4-H SeaPerch Challenge on March 31

Homemade remote-controlled submersibles battle it out in 4-H SeaPerch Challenge on March 31

By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast Facts

  • 4-H SeaPerch challenge to draw teams from across Arkansas
  • Teams use homemade remotely controlled submersibles in competition
  • SeaPerch ignites STEM interests among youth
  • Register at www.4honline.com.

(470 words)

(Newsrooms: With file images at https://flic.kr/s/aHsmgg1ypy )

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LITTLE ROCK – Fifteen 4-H teams from six counties across Arkansas will be engaging in an underwater battle of sorts on March 31 as part of the SeaPerch Challenge to be contested in the pool at the C.A. Vines Arkansas 4-H Center.

The SeaPerch is a remotely operated submersible built from more three dozen parts including PVC pipe, pool noodles, three 12-volt motors and batteries. During the contest, teams must sail their SeaPerch through obstacle courses and complete other tasks such as moving plastic rings from one part of the course and successfully place them in another part. The idea is to ignite youth interest in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. 

4-8-2017 SeaPerch 3
ADVISER -- Contestants with Rick Field, extension 4-H staff member coordinating the Sea Perch competition on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the Vines Center.  (U of A System Division of Agriculture photo by Martha Sartor) 

“The great thing about SeaPerch is that 4-H members can build their interest in STEM from the ground up, using parts that are readily available in hardware and electronics stores,” said Lori Canada, 4-H development coordinator for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “Then, there’s the satisfaction of learning to use the submersible, fine tune it, and work as a team to hone their skills for competition.

“The skills that go into this are so important for these young people to see that STEM isn’t just theory, it has practical, and most importantly, fun, applications,” Canada said. “And that reflects the larger mission for 4-H – to learn by doing.”

The competition has junior and senior sections. The winners of each section can advance to the nationals to be held in June 1-3 at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.

This year’s teams are:

  • Sheridan Intermediate 4-H Team 1, Grant County
  • Sheridan Intermediate 4-H Team 2, Grant County
  • Sheridan Junior High – Open, Grant County
  • Sheridan Junior High – Stock, Grant County
  • JC Atlantis, Johnson County
  • Miller County Juniors
  • Poinsett County 4-H Lagoon Energized Droid (L.E.D.)
  • Poinsett County 4-H Team Red
  • CrossChurch 4-H Club Junior Team 1, Benton County
  • CrossChurch 4-H Club Junior Team 2, Benton County
  • CrossChurch 4-H Club Junior Team 3, Benton County
  • CrossChurch 4-H Club Senior Team 1, Benton County
  • CrossChurch 4-H Club Senior Team 2, Benton County
  • P.R.I.M.E., Benton County
  • Lonoke Senior Team, Lonoke County

More than 100 people are registered to participate, volunteer or watch the event. Spectators are welcome and a $20 fee will cover lunch at the center.

The SeaPerch competition is sponsored by the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas.

“The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas are long-time supporters of Arkansas 4-H and the many programs it offers to the youth in our state,” said Rob Roedel, manager-corporate communications for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “We believe that great STEM programs like SeaPerch are essential in preparing 4-Hers for the future.”

To learn more about the SeaPerch initiative, visit www.seaperch.org.

The Arkansas 4-H program is operated by the Cooperative Extension Service. To learn more about 4-H in Arkansas, contact your county extension office or visit www.uaex.edu.

About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses. 

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

 

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126
mhightower@uaex.edu