Students Compete in Regional SeaPerch Competition

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - Friday hundreds of grade school students took over Gulf Coast State College for the Regional SeaPerch competition. The students are tested their engineering skills with underwater robotics.

It takes hours upon hours of preparation and hard work.

"It takes a lot of time and a lot of preparation and it's really stressful," said Abby Chomos, Roulhac Middle School. 

All this to become an underwater robotics champion.

"We did really good. I'm proud of us," said Tyler Vowell, Blountstown High School.

"We (were) the first team done," said Bethany Seaman, Blountstown High School. 

Getting to the Regional SeaPerch competition was no easy task for these students.

"Building a circuit board, I'd never did that before and getting to solder it together was super fun," said Hailey Hofacker, Vernon Middle School.

"The way we waterproofed the motor was really wacky," said Vowell. 

Engineers from the Navy base helped the students make their robots, which are made of simple materials like PVC pipe and duct tape. Then they faced the real test.

"We do an obstacle course, which you have to drive our robot through the obstacle course and then surface it at the top and then drive it back and then there's a latter challenge where it's a latter and then it has rings on it and you have to move the rings from one side to the next," said Chomos. 

It's a competition combining science and fun.

"It's super fun to hang out and get to see all the people compete. That's probably really fun," said Hofacker. 

It might have even paved some career paths.

"I was going to be a doctor, but after we built this, I'm like hey this is kind of fun, let me do this instead," said Seaman.

The competition's winners will go on to the National SeaPerch competition at Georgia Tech in May.

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