More than 50 Lake Forest Country Day School students from Grades 6 and 8 participated in the SeaPerch competition on Saturday, March 17, at the Naval Station Great Lakes. Each LFCDS team designed a submersible remotely operated vehicle (ROV), also known as a SeaPerch, calling on the students’ study of buoyancy, fluid mechanics, electrical circuitry, and Archimedes’ principle. They built their devices from scratch using materials including PVC pipe, electrical tape, and pool noodles.
The efforts of the eighth-grade team, who stayed at the School until 8 p.m. the night before the competition (which also happened to be the first night of spring break), paid off as they earned third place in the Obstacle Course and took first place in the Challenge Course in the high school division. One of the sixth-grade teams was awarded third place for their Research Journal in the middle school division.
In order to prepare for the SeaPerch competition, which draws more than 700 middle and high school students, the classmates tested their vehicles repeatedly in an inflatable pool set with an underwater obstacle course. “Teamwork is key,” said Mark Arthur, science and STEM+ teacher and Chair of the LFCDS science department. “I’m really proud of how these students worked together to problem-solve, from the design and building of the SeaPerch all the way through the day of competition, when you never know if things will go according to plan. The creativity, determination, and collaboration our students displayed is what makes projects like this so meaningful.”
The SeaPerch program was developed to encourage youth from around the country to enter engineering and other STEM-related fields. Sponsored primarily by The Office of Naval Research and managed by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Foundation, the competition is named for the USS Perch, a highly decorated World War II United States submarine. Each SeaPerch team makes a series of attempts at the obstacle courses set up in indoor pools on the Naval station. The combined results determine the winning teams.
Lake Forest Country Day School serves students from more than 30 communities throughout the North Shore and beyond. A regional center of excellence for early childhood, elementary, and middle school education for children ages 2 to Grade 8, LFCDS is committed to inspired teaching, academic rigor, attention to individual needs, and responsible citizenship as well as the dedication to producing students of strong character with a passion for learning. For more information on LFCDS, please visit www.lfcds.org or call (847) 234-2350.
Submitted by Lake Forest Country Day School