Louisiana Tech University hosts first Seaperch Challenge in North Louisiana

Mar 11, 2024 | Education and Human Sciences, General News

Louisiana Tech University hosted the SeaPerch Challenge at the Lambright Sports and Wellness Center on Friday, March 1. This marked the first time the event has been hosted in North Louisiana, drawing participation from 32 teams comprising nearly 100 middle and high school students.

Students at the event were tasked with building underwater remote-operated vehicles and programming them to complete an obstacle course located in the Lambright pool.

“The skills students learn from this event are invaluable,” Cathi Cox-Boniol, Director of SCILS Region 8 LASTEM Center, said. “They have limited time to perform the specific tasks and in the heat of the moment, have to adjust and figure things out.”

This event was a collaborative effort between multiple organizations, including, Louisiana Tech University, the SCILS Region 8 LASTEM Center, SciTEC, Department of Defense, Robonation, University of Louisiana at Monroe, Louisiana Delta Community College, Louisiana State University, 4-H, and Ruston High School.

“We want to always model that we shouldn’t work in a silo, and this is another example of how leveraging partnerships allowed something tremendously rewarding to happen,” Cox-Boniol said.

The SeaPerch Challenge allows participants to continue practicing their programming and computer skills while also fostering teamwork and critical thinking. Additionally, the event has ignited a passion for STEM education and a greater sense of confidence when working with robotics.

“It’s so important that our future teachers understand the importance of providing these types of opportunities for students,” Cox-Boniol said. “It has the potential to be completely transformative because you never know when you are going to open a door to the future for your students.”

“One of the greatest benefits of engagement with the LA Board of Regents LaSTEM network is access to partnerships and resources to better serve our community,” Dr. Lindsey Keith-Vincent, associate dean for Research, Outreach, and Innovation, said. “I am appreciative of Missy Wooley and Cathi for providing this amazing experience to local students and for the legislature for investing in such initiatives that support education now and our workforce in the future.”

For more information on how to get involved in the SeaPerch Challenge, visit the link here.