Underwater Robotics Club Competes at the Naval Academy

Earlier this month, four teams of Bishop O’Connell students participated in the Maryland Regional SeaPerch Challenge at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, where they were able to showcase the customized remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and controllers they had built over the course of the last year.

The teams were required to navigate a speed course, overcome a maneuverability challenge with hula-hoops, and successfully execute an underwater ring retrieval. They were also asked to discuss their engineering designs with U.S. Navy officers and organizers.

To prepare for this competition, members of O’Connell’s “Sub Club” worked together on their SeaPerch vehicles during their free time and after school, honing their engineering design and testing skills, and acquiring hands-on experience with things like soldering, ballasting and vehicle operations. Pre-competition activities included practicing maneuvers in an outdoor pool.

Congratulations to O’Connell’s “Team Levitation”—Nycole Steward ‘23, Mary McConville ’23 and Bella Rozzi ‘23—who finished in the top four overall among high school entries and competed in the finals, where the underwater challenges included moving a lever, opening a door, transferring batteries to different elevations in the water, and returning tools to the tool caddy. Their top four finish qualified them for the 2022 International SeaPerch Competition on June 4 in College Park, Md.

"All members of our Sub Club did a fantastic job demonstrating their skills and unique engineering designs,” said club moderator Melissa Pore. “I am so proud of the efforts and for the support demonstrated across our teams for Team Levitation—the only all-girls team to make it to the final round of competition.”