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Brillion eighth graders qualify for National SeaPerch Challenge

Feb, 28, 2019

By David Nordby The Brillion News

BRILLION – A group of determined Brillion eighth graders qualified for the 2019 National SeaPerch Challenge at the University of Maryland by taking second place at the recent state competition at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Last year, the group’s outing at state didn’t go so well. This year, they wanted to improve.

“My favorite part was designing the SeaPerch and using what we learned from last year and converting it into a better SeaPerch this year,” Olivia Schwarz said.

Schwarz is one of five team members with Garett Deiter, Hilary Sonnabend, Ella Wolff and Devin Baeten.

The SeaPerch is an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competition. Students build the ROV from a kit and follow a curriculum. The competitions include maneuvering the vehicle underwater through courses and an oral presentation to judges.

“I know I was definitely motivated because we had practices that were better than the competition last year,” Schwarz said.

“I thought it was a second chance to get redemption on last year,” Sonnabend said.

There were two courses at the competition this year. Deiter was the driver and Sonnabend was the co-pilot on the first course. Baeten was the driver and Schwarz was the co-pilot on the second course where they had to bring whiffle balls with weights inside of them to the opposite side of the pool and bring a broken SeaPerch back to the starting line.

“We kind of just let everyone drive the SeaPerch first of all and then figured out who was better at which course,” Baeten said.

When they arrived at the competition, they thought they had a chance to do well because their SeaPerch was less basic than other groups.

The group didn’t start the project until January last year. This year, they were preparing by November.

The students practiced at the YWCA and the Brillion Community Center. They put together their model in the elementary school’s STEM Center.

Please see the complete story in the Feb. 28, 2019 edition of The Brillion News. 


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