SAHS > Souderton Robotics Team Qualifies for and Competes at SeaPerch National Finals in Mississippi
The Souderton Area High School Robotics Team was awarded the 2nd place vehicle performance trophy at the 9th Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge held at Drexel University on Saturday, April 26th, 2014. Souderton's SeaPerch vehicle was rated as the second-best performer against over 40 other competing teams from the tri-state area. Each team was tasked and judged in four events – poster presentation, engineering notebook, team spirit, and vehicle performance. In addition to the 2nd place in vehicle performance, Souderton also placed 3rd in poster presentation for the event.
As a result, the team was invited to participate in the 4th Annual National SeaPerch Challenge, held on May 17th in Hattiesburg, Mississippi at the University of Southern Mississippi. At the National Challenge, Souderton placed 15th overall, with a 4th place finish in the poster competition. Over 100 teams were represented from across the country at the National Challenge.
The SeaPerch Challenge is an underwater engineering competition, where students are not allowed to deviate much from a set kit of materials, as there is a $20.00 limit on additions to the SeaPerch kit, which must be documented meticulously. This forces students to be resourceful and innovative with the materials they have, operating under strict budgetary guidelines and simulating real-life engineering limitations. The vehicle performance competition that Souderton competed in consists of two United States Navy Engineering inspired competitions. The first is a serpentine course of underwater hula hoops that must be navigated through, and the second was the "Heist" event where the robot must bring back weighted boxes and move them through a door mechanism, judged on time needed to complete the mission.
In Mississippi, the SAHS Robotics Team competed against over 60 schools and high school organizations from across the country in these events. There is a legacy of success – many of these students just last year were runners-up at the 2013 National Finals in Indianapolis. This group of students proved that their passion and excellent work ethic are representative of the hard work that Souderton Area High School students are known for. While the team did not place as high as last season, there is still a solid foundation to build on, as most team members will be returning to Souderton's Robotics program next year.
The team is coached by SAHS chemistry teacher Phil Cerami and physics teacher Dennis Robertson. The national team consisted of senior Mitch Plummer, juniors Ali Tomasevich and Natasha Jones, sophomores Randy Hilston, Angelica Savoca, Connor Gephart, and Matt Gargano.