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Oolitic Middle School Students Advance To National SeaPerch Robotics Challenge
Updated March 4, 2014 6:53 AM | Filed under: Education
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(OOLITIC) - Five Lawrence County middle school students have advanced to the 2014 National SeaPerch Robotics Challenge.

The Oolitic Middle School team Nautilus Skittles is coached by Crane engineers Andrew Payne and Ashley Mehringer.

Member of the team are: Edward Rainey, Logan Grissom, Elizabeth Loper, Joslyn Wever and Kelsey Walls.

During the state competition at Mount Vernon High School Feb. 8, the Nautilus Skittles achieved an overall score that placed them in a three-way tie for third place in the state.

The team also competed in the Open Division with the overall ranking of eighth place in the state.

The state competition included three events: obstacle course, speed race and the Heist Challenge (driving the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) through an underwater gate and retrieving six payload objects).

The Nautilus Skittles started building their ROVs on Jan. 3. The team met several times a week to practice driving the robot and make fine-tuning adjustments to improve its handling abilities.

The SeaPerch program is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR). This year's national challenge will be on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi (Southern Miss) in Hattiesburg, Miss., on May 17.

SeaPerch is an innovative underwater roboticsprogram that equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in an in-school or out-of-school setting. Students build the ROV from a kit that includes low-cost, easily accessible parts, following a curriculum that teaches basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme.

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