Excitement is building for the fourth National SeaPerch Challenge to be held on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi (Southern Miss) in Hattiesburg, MS on Saturday May 17, 2014. The Mississippi Regional SeaPerch Committee will be our hosts for the event where up to 100 teams from across the country are anticipated. This year, students will enjoy a “college experience,” as accommodations and meals will be available for all participants on the university’s campus, only a short walk to Saturday’s in-pool and poster completion events.
Teams arriving on Friday afternoon, May 16, will first check into their dorm rooms and get settled, then head over to the Payne Center for registration check-in and their ROV compliance review from 3-6 pm. The Triage Station will also be operational for those requiring adjustments and/or repairs. From there it’s a short five-minute walk to the Thad Cochran Center for dinner available from 4:30-to-7 pm downstairs in the university’s Food Court. This year there will Teams will enjoy an Ice Cream Social hosted upstairs in the Cochran Center’s Grand Ballroom from 8-to-10 pm. This is an ideal opportunity for teams to meet, mingle, and discuss their SeaPerch designs and goals for the competition.
Competition day, Saturday, May 17, will begin in the Payne Center and Johnson Natatoriumwith the continuation of registration check-in and compliance reviews, for those not completing their inspection on Friday night. The opening ceremony will be accompanied by photographers, videographers and local media, and again this year, live streaming of the day’s exciting competition events will be provided via the SeaPerch website for the benefit of all to follow on their electronic devices including fellow classmates, parents and friends back home. A juried poster competition is planned for both middle and high school teams to introduce their graphic displays and deliver oral presentations about the design philosophy, construction challenges and answer questions posed by the judges. The in-pool technical competition events will consist both of an Obstacle Course and an entirely new challenge, yet to be introduced. Specifications for both underwater events will be posted on the SeaPerch website so teams can build their own event for practice prior to the national competition.
Close to 90 volunteer judges are expected to cover the poster and in-pool competitions during the day’s activities. Breakfast and lunch will be provided in the Cochran Center’s Food Court for participants and attendees who have registered and paid their individual registration fee. Team Entry Rules complete with the 2014 registration fees as well as Competition Event Rules, specification and rubrics for each event will be posted separately on the SeaPerch website. Please visit the ‘Team Entry Rules’ and the ‘Competition Rules’ sections on the website regularly for the latest requirements.
The Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday evening in the Payne Center where the presentation of trophies for the various categories and events will take place. Our speakers will be invited to observe the competition during the day, judge various events and address the students that evening at the banquet about the importance of STEM to their future careers. Corporate executives, local congressional representatives, ONR, US Navy and US Coast Guard personnel will also be invited to attend the day’s activities.
In 2014, teams will consist of a minimum of one student and one adult leader. There will be no restriction on the number of students that can participate on a team; however, we will again limit the number of students per team on the pool deck during the competition to two students.
All SeaPerch ROV entries will be subject to a required compliance review prior to the competition and a triage station will be set up for student teams to make repairs, adjustments and rebalance their ROV’s during the competition.
Individual teams will be responsible for their own travel, charges for accommodations in the university dorms, and a nominal registration fee for the SeaPerch ROV as well as for each person participating in the National Challenge. All other attendees, except for invited guests, judges, volunteers and committee members, will pay the entry fee per person to cover the cost of meals.
All teams must register and pay all fees in full by Monday night, April 28, at midnight. Absolutely NO EXCEPTIONS will be allowed. Failure to complete the registration process and pay all fees in full by this date will result in a team’s inability to participate in the 2014 National SeaPerch Challenge.
All student participants will receive National SeaPerch Challenge t-shirts and giveaway bags with items contributed by the SeaPerch program, corporate sponsors and our Mississippi hosts.
Sunday, May 18, will be a free day for the teams to explore on their own the rich cultural history and outdoor activities in the greater Hattiesburg, Mississippi area.
Sponsorship opportunities will be available for individual, local and corporate funding, details of which will be posted on the SeaPerch website. As soon as it is available the Official Team Registration Form and fees will be posted on the SeaPerch website along with the “Intent to Participate” form for established and forming regions only. Unaffiliated teams will be allowed to register later, should the 100-team limit not be reached by that date. Please check the website regularly for notification of postings for all of the above information including sponsorship opportunities which will be available for individual, local and corporate funding.
Certificates of Participation and Appreciation are posted on the website both for student participants and for teachers and advisors to download following the National Challenge.