Team Poseidon represents Northumberland at the 2017 National SeaPerch Challenge

For the second year in a row Northumberland Middle School was represented at the National SeaPerch Challenge.

Luke Swann returned with his new partner, Channing Reynolds, to compete May 20 in the National SeaPerch Challenge at Georgia Tech University in Atlanta, reported Holly Swann.

After qualifying for Nationals at the District Competition at University of Mary Washington in April, L. Swann and Reynolds, both seventh graders, were eager to take their self-built remote operated vehicle (ROV) to Georgia Tech to try to bring home a National Title, said H. Swann.

By and large, the National SeaPerch Challenge was a success, she said. Together as Team Poseidon, they modified their SeaPerch ROV with orange LED lights, painted it orange for better visibility and made several changes to the floatation devices to improve buoyancy. The two-person team competed in three portions of the overall challenge including the engineering notebook/presentation, an underwater puzzle challenge and an underwater rings obstacle course.

Team Poseidon made the top 5 finalists, placing 5th in the nation for the underwater puzzle challenge portion of the competition. They completed this competition in 5 minutes and 37 seconds and finished first in their heat, continued H. Swann.

Although they didn’t get a trophy, they did win an underwater Go-Pro Hero Five Session and a Sea Glider autonomous underwater vehicle by placing first for the “SeenIt” video crew competition that they entered. The winning clip showed L. Swann and Reynolds heading to the National SeaPerch competition and singing their introduction. View the winning video at https://youtu.be/PgM-bIiO98o.

Overall, Reynolds and L. Swann kept up amazingly against stiff competition for their second year, said H. Swann. It was a wonderful experience for two young people from a small, rural school to have the opportunity to compete nationally against huge schools and teams from Texas, Illinois, San Francisco, Puerto Rico, New Jersey, Naval Academies and Department of Defense schools.

L. Swann and Reynolds are thrilled with their standings and are already talking about how they can make their SeaPerch faster and better next year.

They would like to give a huge thanks to their Talented and Gifted teacher, Shauna McCranie, Northumberland County Public Schools volunteer Keith Swann, the Northumberland school board office, Northumberland Middle School, Northumberland Association for Progressive Stewardship, Dahlgren, their families and all of their supporters who helped them get to the National SeaPerch Challenge.

It was certainly a fantastic experience full of memories for these two students, said H. Swann. One that will stay with them for years to come.


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