Teams from Cayman Brac’s Layman E. Scott High School took first and second places in both middle- and high-school divisions of this year’s Minds Inspired SeaPerch Challenge, held at Camana Bay Sports Complex pool on 12 March.
Overall champions were middle-school students Jovier Walton-Paz and Jaden Ebanks with their team the “Brac Bots.” That team is now eligible to compete in the international SeaPerch Challenge held in the United States in June.
Six schools entered 24 teams in the Cayman Islands branch of the international competition where students design, build and operate underwater remote-operated vehicles. Teams had to complete an obstacle course — racing the clock to navigate their robots through a series of underwater hoops — and a mission course that challenged teams to maneuver objects and conduct specified tasks with their robots.
Teams design and build their robots using kits purchased by Minds Inspired from SeaPerch International and supplied to schools free of charge. Each kit includes PVC piping, motors and a remote control; teams can supplement materials up to a value of CI$25.
The high-school division was won by “Pirates of the Sea,” Layman Scott’s all-girl team of Mikayla Bryan, Aracely Matute and Raeann Matute-Scott, while the award for innovation and design was won by Cayman International School's “Holy Roman Cheeses” team for its unique cheese wedge shape.
Glenda McTaggart, Dart’s senior manager of education programmes, said the SeaPerch Challenge tests the engineering and technical knowledge of students in the design phase.
"But teamwork, problem solving and the ability to focus under pressure are what’s important on competition day,” she said.
As part of Minds Inspired’s programme to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics — the "STEM" subjects — to students, Dart has organised and sponsored the SeaPerch Challenge in Cayman for seven years.
The event is also sponsored by the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands — better known as MACI — the Women’s International Shipping & Trade Association and London & Amsterdam Trust.
MACI Manager of Human Resources and Administration Kayla Martin said SeaPerch brings awareness to the diversified possibilities of STEM careers in the maritime industry, including naval architecture, nautical studies, marine survey and marine engineering.
“MACI believes in the importance of education and helping young people build careers in the maritime sector, especially given Cayman’s strong maritime history," she said, adding that scholarship opportunities are available to Caymanians who wish to pursue a career in the maritime industry. Visit cishipping.com and click the "Maritime Scholarships" tab under "Our Organisation" for more information about the scholarships.
This article appears in the April 2022 print edition of Camana Bay Times.
In other news