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2 SeaPerch teams land spot at Internationals

The Hydrophobiacs team raises its four trophies from the competition at FAU High on Feb. 2, qualifying for internationals. The team consisted of sophomore Fabrizio Parraga, sophomore Benjamin Bergeron, junior Kaitlyn Bergeron and senior Samantha Bergeron. Photo courtesy of Ralph Marchand.

By Andra Danu, Asst. Section Editor

Two out of three SeaPerch teams qualified for the eighth annual International SeaPerch Challenge, through competitions at FAU High School on Feb. 2 and South Broward High School on March 17.

The Hydrophobiacs team — consisting of junior Kaitlyn Bergeron, sophomore Benjamin Bergeron, senior Samantha Bergeron and sophomore Fabrizio Parraga — were able to qualify for internationals on Feb. 2, receiving four trophies.

“My devotion to SeaPerch has not only given my team and me the opportunity to compete in the national competition last year but also this June as well, which we will represent the school at finals,” junior Kaitlyn Bergeron said. “This experience has been so rewarding since the beginning, not just teaching me so much about mechanics and STEM but about life as well.”

The Golden Maelstroms team — consisting of junior Maria Ilonta, junior Camila Castellano and freshman Andrea Castellano — qualified in March with its mostly 3D-printed remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

“After not qualifying at the first competition, my team worked day and night until the next competition,” club president Ilonta said. “We worked to improve our design so that it could achieve maximum agility. In the end, all of our hard work paid off.”

SeaPerch is an interactive club open to students that want to learn how to apply the principles of engineering in a hands-on environment.

Each team had to design and build their own Remotely Operated Vehicle, or ROV for short, from scratch.

“SeaPerch was a simple way to express my interests in engineering in an environment where others feel the same way,” sophomore Benjamin Bergeron said.

The Hydrophobiacs won first place in the puzzle challenge, first place in the engineering notebook, second place overall, and third place in the obstacle course.

“SeaPerch is an interesting and fun club where I got the opportunity to shine in many aspects in STEM,” Parraga said. “I am surprised by all the things that I have learned with the amazing people that taught me all that I needed to know. With my team qualifying to go to Nationals to represent Pompano, we hope to get first place for our pride as Golden Tornadoes.”

Internationals will run through the weekend of June 1-3 at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Posted: May 4

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