Two teams head to international robotics tourney

| 08/03/2018
CNS Local Life

The winning John Gray High School team (L-R) Caleb Feare, Davonte Howell, Diamond White and Alvan Boxwell (Photo by Maggie Jackson)

(CNS Local Life): The John Gray Aqua Lasers and Layman E. Scott Brac Bots will represent the Cayman Islands at the International SeaPerch underwater robotics challenge in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, this June. A total of 21 teams from six schools in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac took to the pool at the Camana Bay Sports Complex on Saturday, 3 March for a full day of underwater robotics.

For the third consecutive year, a team from John Gray High School won overall, with the middle school squad of Diamond White, Davonte Howell, Alvan Boxwell and Caleb Feare claiming the title of champions. The Layman E. Scott Brac Bots, Kenny Ryan and David Tibbetts, won the high school division and also secured a place at the International SeaPerch Challenge.

The Cayman Islands SeaPerch Challenge is presented in partnership with Dart’s Minds Inspired, WISTA (Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association) and Maples and Calder, stated a press release. The programme is a hands-on integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with applications both inside and outside of the classroom.

Students are required to submit an engineering journal where they log their activities during their Remote Operated Vehicles’ design and construction. They are then judged on how quickly they can navigate their vehicles through obstacles and move objects to different points in the pool.

Claudia Grant, president of the Women in Maritime Association Caribbean and the deputy director general of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, attended as an observer. “We plan to launch SeaPerch in Jamaica later this year and came to see the competition firsthand so we know what to expect,” she said in the press release.

“Our teachers have already been trained, with help from Mr Desmond White from…John Gray High School and we hope to bring the programme to 20-30 schools in September,” adding, “I am very grateful that I was able to experience the event firsthand; the students are a true testament to teamwork and focus. We hope that this will lead to continued partnership between Jamaica and Cayman to expose more students to STEM.”

Matthew Werner, dean of Webb Institute, an undergraduate naval architecture and marine engineering institution based in New York, was this year’s lead judge and ensured the competition met international standards. The engineering notebooks submitted by each team were evaluated and scored by members of the Webb faculty to guarantee objective scoring.

The long-term goal of Cayman’s SeaPerch Challenge is to encourage more students to study STEM subjects and ultimately, STEM-related careers. “With the expanding growth of the global marine engineering industry and Cayman’s own maritime heritage, developing young people is critical for the Cayman Islands to emerge as a leader,” said Glenda McTaggart, Dart education programmes manager.

“Minds Inspired, Maples and WISTA Cayman Islands are purposefully working towards that goal as more students are returning to and joining SeaPerch year-over-year. We are very proud of how successful the challenge has become over the last three years. It proves that not only are Cayman’s students interested in STEM, but are talented enough to become professionals in STEM careers if they choose to.”

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Category: Schools, Technology

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  1. Anonymous says:

    tell us again about how the public schools can’t turn out smart kids.