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UNION GROVE – The Union Grove Union High School (UGHS) made a big splash at the Southeast Wisconsin SeaPerch Competition on March 19.

SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that equips students, educators, and parents with the resources they need to build an underwater remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) in an in-school or out-of-school setting.

All seven UGHS teams at the SeaPerch competition. – Credit: UGHS

The Broncos had seven teams of engineering students compete in the competition hosted by the Milwaukee Council of Navy League.

This year’s competition, held at St. Francis Deer Creek Intermediate School, ranked the largest competition with 30 participating teams.

The competition involves controlling ROVs underwater to complete obstacles and missions, and a judged presentation.

The Broncos teams are led by engineering teacher Erik Wolbach. Additionally, they are supported by business partners including American Metalcraft, BSW Electric, Coleman Tool, First Call Heating and Cooling, Society of Women Engineers, and Sergeant Patrick from the Wisconsin Army National Guard.

Preparing for SeaPerch

Prior to the competition, students worked together to design an ROV with specific requirements, limited supplies, and a $25 budget. The students incorporated 3D-printed parts and made modifications to their ROVs after testing.

The Broncos are appreciative of the Days Inn, 13340 Hospitality Court, for their generosity in allowing the high school students to utilize their pool. This allowed the Broncos to practice their ROVs underwater with the mission and obstacle course.

Outstanding awards

Teams from UGHS had a successful day earning every award at the high school level.

Students at the competition receiving awards:

  • 1st Place: “Sharkbait”– Colton Brouwers, Barrett Dorval, Harley Ranta, Xavier Stelmachowski
  • 2nd Place: “Unsinkables”– Rin Brouwers, Raymond Gomez, Austin Jakes, Everly Squires
  • 3rd Place: “The A-Team”- Luke Baird, Ryan Miller, Tim Truchon
  • Best Presentation: “ROV Reapers”– Cody Ashburn, Caleb Hagemann, Braxton Hinds, Cole Wicklund
  • Best Mission: “Gubble Buppies”– Andrew Theama
  • Best Obstacle: “Sharkbait”–as listed above

The top three teams have been invited to compete at the international competition held at the University of Maryland in May.

First place team, Sharkbait. – Credit: UGHS
Second place team, the Unsinkables. – Credit: UGHS
Third place team, The A-Team. – Credit: UGHS

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