Headline for Featured Item #1 Students Show Off Innovative Skills in Underwater Robotics, Navigation at STEM Camp Final Competition - Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
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Students Show Off Innovative Skills in Underwater Robotics, Navigation at STEM Camp Final Competition

June 17, 2013


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Student teams from high schools around Texas participated in an ROV (remotely operated vehicle) underwater robotics and navigation contest held Saturday, June 15, at the Moody Sustainers Field House Pool at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

The competition, which focused on the construction and knowledge of innovative technology to improve ROV’s navigation, was part of the College of Science and Engineering’s second “STEM Summer Institute: Underwater Robotics” educational program held June 9-15.

“The camp helps bring attention to engineering, which is a field that needs more laborers,” said Dr. Dugan Um.  “Students learn college-level math, science, technology, and ROV assembly during the camp that they would not otherwise learn in high school.” 

Dr. Um, along with Korinne Caurso, STEM Camp Coordinator, have designed a curriculum that is fun and hands-on for all students that attended.

 “Along with developing new skills, the best part about the camp was making new friends with similar interests,” said Corey Elizondo, a senior at Moody High School. “I have also met great advisors for my future.”

Teams made up of three-to-five students designed and manufactured several student-made ROV attachments, which were used on an official ROV machine in the pool to fetch items underwater.

During an awards ceremony held Saturday afternoon, Team Engine Rays was awarded first prize for the highest average score in all competitions. The team had the best design and completed the event in the fastest time. Each member received an iPad and trophy.

The team members were:

  • Kelly Falksen, Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas
  • Brenton Zuidema, a homeschooled student from Beaumont, Texas
  • Jay Vela, Ingleside High School in Ingleside, Texas

The “STEM Summer Institute: Underwater Robotics” program at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi introduced high school students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields to exciting oceanography research and engineering opportunities, in particular ROV operation, through lectures, exercises, hands-on activities, design and rapid prototyping, field trips, and project competitions with prizes.  The next camp session will be held from Sunday, July 7, through Saturday, July 13.

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