ONR Sponsors SeaPerch Underwater Robotics Competition

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Child and Youth Programs (CYP) Bahrain held a SeaPerch underwater robotics competition, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), on April 16.

The SeaPerch program is a part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning initiative, which is endorsed by CYP throughout the Navy.

“This program is part of our effort to ensure our youth at NSA Bahrain have exposure to STEM and opportunities to engage in these types of activities,” said Jarod Bailey, Youth Director for CYP Bahrain.

Teams were composed of kids ranging in ages from eight to 15. The competition’s rules also allowed for families to enter as a team and make this a family project. At least one member of each team had to be CYP eligible. The Department of Defense Dependent Schools (DoDDS) Bahrain School Robotics Club also entered several teams into the competition, Navy said.

“I really enjoy building robots,” said Karim Bucheery, a student at DoDDS Bahrain School and member of the Robotics Club. “It’s something I enjoy doing and the obstacle course is fun!”

CYP Bahrain applied for a grant from ONR and received ten SeaPerch remotely operated vehicle (ROV) kits worth an estimated $2,000. Seven teams constructed robots and participated in the competition.

“The first robot took us about a week to build, but the rest we made pretty quickly,” said Nikken Malbeouf, a student at DoDDS Bahrain School and member of the Robotics Club. “During the competition, we have to get the robots though the hoops in an allotted amount of time”

Bailey said he plans to have regularly scheduled STEM events and competitions, as part of CYP’s activities, throughout the year.

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