PWCS qualifies eight underwater robotics teams to international championship
Posted on 03/21/2019
Dr. Walts posing with SeaPerch robotics teams

The PWCS Aquatics Center was filled March 15, 2019, with teenagers and their families, but they weren’t swimming. Instead, the lanes were occupied by underwater robots controlled by students who were poolside. Student volunteer divers untangled the robots when needed, and set up the “targets” and challenges, including hoops and obstacles. The students battled in a regional contest for a chance to test their robots at the international level.

Nearly 300 students on 90 school teams from Prince William County, the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, and Seton School in Manassas faced off in the PWCS Aquatics Center. Students maneuvered remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) in underwater challenges, including obstacle courses and contests that tested recovery and collaboration. Building and designing ROVs incorporates engineering concepts, problem solving, and teamwork. In addition to meeting technical challenges in the pool, the students answered questions from the judges and presented their design and construction strategies.

Teams from Patriot, Stonewall Jackson, and Forest Park High Schools qualified for a berth at the International SeaPerch Challenge that will be held June 1-2, 2019, at the University of Maryland. Patriot qualified five teams; Stonewall Jackson qualified two teams; and Forest Park qualified one.

The names of the qualifying teams are:

  • SJ Clams (Stonewall Jackson)
  • Dumplings (Stonewall Jackson)
  • Четыре Медведя (translated means “4 Bears” in Russian) (Forest Park)
  • The Sirens (Patriot)
  • Fluffy Seals (Patriot)
  • Sea Benders (Patriot)
  • High Tide (Patriot)
  • Angry Ducks (Patriot)