9th annual Greater Phi

Part I Greater Philadelphia Sea Perch Challenge Overview

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Part I Greater Philadelphia Sea Perch Challenge Overview 1
1. Sea Perch Challenge Background

a. Problem statement

b. SeaPerch is Making a Difference
Part II Sea Perch Challenge Competition 2
1. Sea Perch Challenge Competition Eligibility
a. Eligible Participants

b. Registration
2. Sea Perch Challenge Competition Format and Overview 2
a. Phase I: Program Kickoff

b. Phase II: Design – Build – Test

GPSPC Mentor Program

c. Phase III: Competition

d. Awards and Competition Advancement
3. Engineering Design Notebook Overview 6
1. Engineering Design Notebook Rules
2014 Se Perch Design Notebook Information Guide
4. Poster Presentation Overview 8
5. Oral Poster Presentation Rules 9
2014 Sea Perch Challenge Poster Presentation Checklist
6. Team Sprit and Sportsmanship Rules 11
7. Craft Design Compliance 11
8. Craft Compliance Inspection Overview 12
a. Craft Design and Modifications

c. Craft Design Rules
Part III Competition Day 13
9. Competition Day Rules and Requirements
a. Arrival and Check In

b. General Pool Performance Rules

c. Challenges and Disputes

Part IV 2014 Pool Performance Rules Rounds 1 and 2 16
a. Round 1 Obstacle Course Maneuvering

b. Round 2 The Heist Mission
Part V Additional Information and Resources 20
10. Frequently Asked Questions 21
11. Parts Vendors 22

Part I Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge Overview
1. Sea Perch Challenge Background
a. Problem Statement
1. The United States is currently ranked 27th (out of 29) for the number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Bachelor’s Degrees awarded by developed countries. Only six percent of our nation’s undergraduates complete engineering degrees compared to 12% in Europe, 20% in Singapore, and 40% in China. It is estimated that more than 400,000 engineers will be needed by 2014 to maintain the level of scientific innovation that has produced roughly half of all US economic growth over the past 50 years. Based on current trends, only one quarter of them will be developed by US universities. Three out of every four engineering, computer science and physics graduates will be male.
b. SeaPerch is making a difference.
1. SeaPerch is one of the STEM education and outreach programs sponsored by the Navy to address the national crisis of decreasing college enrollments and careers in science and engineering. The principle goal of Sea Perch is to engage and inspire middle and high school students by exposing them to exciting, hands-on, and mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, while at the same time fostering self-confidence and life skills.
2. SeaPerch accomplishes its principle goal through an innovative underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). Students build the ROV from a kit comprised of low-cost and easily accessible parts, following a curriculum constructed around basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme. Sea Perch students have the opportunity to learn about robotics, engineering, science and mathematics, problem solving, and teamwork while building an underwater ROV.
3. This year over 2,000 students from approximately 100 regional middle and high schools will participate in the annual Greater Philadelphia Sea Perch Challenge. Teams will design; build, and compete with their underwater ROVs at the Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge at Drexel University in downtown Philadelphia. The first place winners of the pool performance category advance to the national competition and compete against other regional Sea Perch Challenge winners from 35 participating states (over 15,000 students nationally). Since the Sea Perch Challenge was created in Philadelphia nine years ago, more than 50,000 students have participated in the SeaPerch program nationally.
Part II Sea Perch Challenge Competition
1. Eligibility

  1. Eligible Participants

  1. The GPSPC is open to middle schools, high schools, and youth organizations in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware tri-state area. Teams may only register for one (1) regional challenge in the tri-state area to qualify for the national competition.

  1. Registration

  1. Team registration for the 2014 Sea Perch Challenge will open on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 and remain open until Thursday, November 15, 2013. Only one high school level team and one middle school level team per school or organization will be accepted. A team may register for only one local regional SeaPerch competition. A $25.00 registration fee will be assessed from each registrant.

2. Sea Perch Challenge Program Format and Overview

  1. Phase I: Program Kickoff

1. The Sea Perch Challenge Program Kickoff Phase includes all activities associated with the Challenge MISSION AND RULES, team registration, SeaPerch kit distribution, and new advisor training.

3. Tool kits are LOANED TO TEAMS based on need AND AVAILABILITY. Underwater cameras will be LOANED to high schools team AND ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE THE mission. The Middle school mission does not require the use of underwater cameras. Tools and underwater cameras must be returned on competition day.

  1. Phase II: Design – Build – Test

1. The Sea Perch Challenge Design Build Test Phase is all time between Kickoff and Competition. It is the time to learn, teach, experiment, and practice. Teams shall function as companies competing for a simulated Navy contract by designing an underwater ROV that meets the technical requirements while staying within the specified budgetary restriction of $20.00. Phase II is when the Competition products are developed.

2. A complete 32 page SeaPerch build manual can be found at the SeaPerch website under “Build”:

http://www.seaperch.org/build The manual is updated annually to give students and teachers the most recent instructions
3. The GPSPC is an innovative, mentor-based underwater robotics program that includes classroom visits with competing teams by engineering professionals. Teams are encouraged to sign up and take advantage of the Challenge's mentoring resources.

4. GPSPC Mentor Program

What is a SeaPerch mentor?

A mentor is a navy engineer that provides guidance to a SeaPerch team and their advisors/teachers.

The mentor will meet with the students to provide guidance on engineering principles that can assist the students in making construction decisions for their Sea Perch.
Mentors provide help with the construction kit, presentation skills, and notebook organization. They also act as the team liaison for questions about the competition and design. The role of the mentor is to provide the team with means to a solution, instead of answers to the teams’ technical problems. By teaching the engineering principles to the students, the students can apply those principles in practical, hands on experience.
Meeting with the Mentor

It is suggested that the mentor meet with their SeaPerch team at least four times throughout the Design and Build phase. The first meeting is a great introductory opportunity for the mentor to discuss their career, the fields of science and math and share the fun aspects of math and science. The mentor can provide examples of how they use science and engineering every day. Subsequent meeting times can be established where the students engage in the design of the Sea Perch and then on to the building phase.

How is the mentor relationship established?

SeaPerch teams register online and it is at that time they can request partnership with a mentor

When we receive your request for a mentor one will be assigned to you. We do our best to find the best fit between the school and the mentor. You may specifically request a mentor you have had in the previous challenge. Just let us know who they are. Once a mentor is assigned, an email will be sent to the mentor and the first team advisors. Mentors will be given the first and second advisors name, email address and telephone numbers. The advisor will be contacted by the mentor via email or telephone.
The Benefits of Working with a Mentor

  • The mentor program is increasing student interest in math, science, and engineering.

  • Increase awareness of Naval Engineering and Naval Architecture as career fields

  • Helping students prepare for college level work

  • Provides students with the opportunities to:

    • work in a collaborative environment

    • experience a major university campus

    • participate in a realistic business and technical scenario

    • interface with industry, academia, and government engineers

Working with a mentor will enhance your teams experience and provide you with a greater chance of success.

c. Phase III: Competition
1. The Sea Perch Challenge Competition Phase is designed to give students and advisors an overall appreciation of the scientific process at work. The competition consists of two competition classes competing in four competition categories:
Competition Levels:
(1) Middle School

(2) High School

Competition Categories:
(1) Engineering Design Notebook

(2) Team Oral Poster Presentation

(3) Vehicle Performance (obstacle/maneuverability and mission)

(4) Team Spirit and Sportsmanship

(1) The Engineering Design Notebook category measures a team’s ability to document the scientific process in a meaningful and organized manner. The Engineering Design Notebook shall be electronically submitted in an approved file and within file size limitations specified in advance of the competition. The deadline for Notebook submittals is 5:00 pm on April 04, 2014.
(2) The Team Oral Poster Presentation category measures a teams ability to communicate ideas and market solutions to a panel of external judges made up of actual marine engineering professionals from Government, Industry, and Academia. The judges will assess each team’s design innovation, adherence to technical specifications, and adherence to a $20.00 budget.
(3) The Vehicle Performance category is a series of tests that determine how well a team did in designing and building an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle. A submerged obstacle course gauges whether an ROV design is capable of maneuvering successfully under its own power. If a vehicle cannot maneuver to the appropriate location to perform its task, the vehicle is of no use. Teams must navigate through the obstacle course, surface, then re-submerge and return through the course to the end. A deep water mission objective tests a craft’s ability to perform a common function of ROVs: the underwater retrieval of objects from complex locations at different depths, and then placing them in designated locations.
(4) The Team Spirit and Sportsmanship category judges a team’s capabilities to recognize and encourage better solutions and engineering. Teams are encouraged to support their team and assist opposing team to show sportsmanship.

d. Awards and Competition Advancement
(1) Engineering Design Notebook Category Awards:

Trophies for first, second, and third place awarded in both Competition Classes (six total).
(2) Team Poster Presentation Category Awards:

Trophies for first, second, and third place awarded in both Competition Classes (six total).
(3) Vehicle Performance Category Awards:

Trophies for first, second, and third place awarded for combined score of both pool rounds for both Competition Classes (six total). Winners of will receive invitation to represent the Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Region at the National Competition.
(4) Team Spirit and Sportsmanship Category Awards:

Trophies for first, second, and third place in both Competition Class (six total)

(5) Overall GPSPC Winners

Each team will receive a score for each of the four competition categories listed above. Scores from all categories except Team Spirit & Sportsmanship will be combined to determine the overall GPSPC Champion. There will one overall Middle School Champion and one High School Champion.

(6) Simulated Navy Contract Cash Award

A $100.00 cash award presented to the middle school and high school teams that are identified as the Overall GPSPC Winners. First and second place winners will be invited to participate in the annual American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) symposium.

In 2014 ASNE will conduct the Electric Machines Technology Symposium (EMTS), "Advancing Machinery Technologies through Academia and Industry Collaboration”, May 2014, Philadelphia, PA.
The Electric Machines Technology Symposium (EMTS) 2014 is a biennial conference that provides the naval engineering community with the technical presentations, expert panels, and networking opportunities to keep abreast of the Navy's progress and remaining challenges in developing and providing smaller, simpler, more affordable, and more capable power systems for future Navy ships. For more information go to www.navalengineers.org/EMTS2014.
(7) American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) Engineering Process Cash Award

A $100.00 cash award presented to one middle school and one high school team that best utilizes sound engineering principles and approach for assessing Sea Perch design variations and incorporating those changes into the final design.

(8) Atlantic Rangers Scuba Club, Against All Odds Award

An award presented to one middle school and one high school team that overcomes the most significant obstacle(s) and still competes in the challenge.

3. Engineering Design Notebook Overview
a. The Engineering Design Notebook category measures a team’s ability to document the scientific process in a meaningful and organized manner.
b. The Engineering Design Notebook must document how teams implemented the engineering process. The Design Notebooks shall include the following sections:
I. Front Matter

II. Naval Engineering Research

III. Design, Engineering, and Manufacturing Process

IV. Naval Scenario for SeaPerch

V. Teamwork

VI. Bill of Material

VII. Supporting Documentation
c. Engineering Design Notebook Rules

(1) The Engineering Design Notebook shall be electronically submitted in an approved file and within file size limitations specified in advance of the competition. The deadline for Notebook submittals is 5:00 pm on April 04, 2014. Notebooks will not be accepted after the deadline.
a. Approved file size and format

    1. File must be a maximum of 3 mb

    2. Formatted as an Adobe PDF or MS Word .doc

    3. No more than 20 pages long (includes cover page)

    4. Must contain receipts for design costs

Refer to page 7 for a complete rubric for the Design Notebook Guide.

2014 SeaPerch Design Notebook Information Guide

Notebook Section

Mentor Tips

I. Front Matter


Cover Page

Decorative art with Team Name and School Name


Title Page, including:

Separate from the Cover Page - plain white with the Team Name, School Name, School District, and Advisor Name and Contact Information all appears on the cover page.

Team Name

School, School District

Advisor Name and Contact Information


Table of Contents included (and all pages numbered)

Make sure all pages in your document are numbered and show numbers on the Table of Contents.


List of Figures

Figures in the notebook should be labeled "Figure 1", "Figure 2", etc... With a brief caption and listed in the List of Figures (with page numbers) following the Table of Contents.


List of Tables

If the Notebook contains any Tables they should be labeled "Table 1", "Table 2", etc... With a brief caption and listed in the List of Tables (with Page numbers) following the List of Figures.

II. Naval Engineering Research

Note: Sections II. through V. should be no more than a total of 20 pages. This constitutes the bulk of the Notebook score.


Naval engineering principles that the team researched and used in the building of the SeaPerch.

Describe engineering concepts that the team found in books, online or through interviews and show how that information was used to improve the Sea Perch design.

This is the theoretical foundation for your design work. Be thorough in describing what concepts you investigated, what you learned and how you applied that knowledge to your design. Examples are: buoyancy, thrust, center of gravity, center of mass, force vectors (applied to propulsion and steering).


Description of the learning modules completed (buoyancy, electricity, vectors) showing results and how they are applicable to the Sea Perch Design.

Teams should complete the learning modules provided on the Sea perch Website. Be detailed in showing all calculations you did during the learning modules. State how the concepts learned were applied in the design of the SeaPerch.

III. Design, Engineering, and Manufacturing Process


Design & Manufacture


Description of the process used to refine the design and manufacture the final product.

Define the requirements and show how you designed the Sea perch to meet those

requirements. Be specific and detailed in your description of how you set performance specifications for each component of the craft (frame, thrusters, etc…) to meet the

requirements. Concept drawings and drawings or photos of the final design can be included.


Discussion on what design modifications were considered to enhance

performance and why they were or were not incorporated.


Discussion on the factors considered in selecting the final design.




Description of any experiments completed to test theories, validate performance, etc

This is not a repeat of the learning modules. It should document in detail any experimentation you conducted. One example is to compare the actual ballast you need for your SeaPerch to the theoretical amount you calculated. Testing of the completed SeaPerch can be documented here.

IV. Naval Scenario for Sea Perch

Detailed discussion related to how the Sea Perch could be implemented in a practical scenario or task. Highlight how their particular design aids in the

accomplishment of the requirements.

Be creative. It should read like a good English assignment. Incorporate some mention of the design requirements relating to a real-world situation.

V. Teamwork

A. Team participant list.

List each member

Description of how the responsibilities were split up

B. and assigned among team members.

Show what each member worked on.

Provide concrete examples of how team members

C. worked together and helped each other.

Demonstrate the positive aspects of teamwork!

Detailed discussion of the challenges the team faced

D. and the steps they took to overcome the challenges.

Any time or scheduling problems? Technical problems? Personality issues? What impact did they have on the completion of the project and how did you overcome them?

E. Listing of the biggest lesson learned by the team.

What did you learn working as a team and how will that help you in the future (during college

and/or in a career setting)?

Describe the biggest factors for the success of the

F. team.

What made you successful and why?

VI. Bill of Material


List of all material used

List the parts of the standard kit you used as well as anything purchased.


Included receipts for purchased materials.

Items added to the basic kit must be $20 or less. If items were donated, estimate what it would have cost to buy them. Bought and donated items must total $20 or less.

VII Supporting Documentation


Any photos, drawings, organizational charts or any

additional supporting information

Drawings of design ideas are nice (even if you ended up with a different design). Photos are always good (build process,


4. Oral Poster Presentation Overview
a. Teams shall conduct their oral presentation from poster displays set up on Competition Day. The Poster Presentation rubric for middle schools and high schools will form the basis of scoring. Bonus points may be awarded based on the technical merits of the Sea Perch design and/or supplemental items.
b. Teams shall present as though they are the sales team for a company competing to design and build a Sea Perch ROV in response to a US Navy Contract Solicitation. The Panel of Naval Engineering Clients, (the panel of judges) has a mission and they are screening possible companies to determine which Sea Perch design is the best option to meet their need. It is the Poster Presentation Sales Team’s job to prove to the Panel of Naval Engineering Clients that their company’s design is the best all-around solution for the mission.
c. The Poster Presentation session is the best time for teams who modified the standard Sea Perch design should discuss their modifications. They should highlight experiments they conducted during Phase II and what modifications came from them. Demonstration of the team’s knowledge and understanding of Naval Engineering principles used in the design and performance of Sea Perch are key selection criterion that judges will consider. At the conclusion of the question, answer, and discussion period, judges should have a clear understanding of how students implemented their knowledge of design and engineering.
5. Oral Poster Presentation Rules
a. All teams must include the following in their presentation:

• Company Overview

– Company name, size, and demographics

– Mission/Vision statement with an emphasis on naval engineering

Organization of the company explained
• Recruiting Methods

  • How did the company recruit new members

• Budget information and implementation

– Identify additions and modifications to the Sea Perch

– Explain any trade-offs of the modifications

• Design and Manufacturing Process & Engineering Process

  • Identify the steps taken to achieve the design

  • Design research (naval engineering research)

  • Identify technical calculations or testing conducted and design priorities

  • Integrated lessons learned

  • Charts/Drawings/Pictures

• Use of computer technology

b. High School Teams must also:

• Hand out a corporate brochure to the clients which must include

– Mission/Vision statement of the company

Overview of the types of engineers involved in the process

Organizational Chart

• Each member of the sales team must have a resume to distribute
c. Format - The presentation is open to creative interpretation and teams are encouraged to use technology in their presentations.
1. Electronic media, physical models, additional posters, or other items can be used by a team to supplement their Poster Presentation. Any additional equipment including computers with special software must be furnished by the team.
2. Professional printing of the poster is permitted but will not be calculated into the final score.
3. The poster size shall not exceed 36” x 48”.
d. The Presentation

  1. A maximum of eight team members and one advisor will be allowed to staff the poster during the judging. All team members present must participate in giving the presentation. The presentation may be videotaped by one of the eight representatives and must be done without causing a disturbance.

  1. Teams will have 10 minutes to present their poster and 5 minutes answer follow-up questions by the judges.

  1. Teams are advised to arrive at their designated presentation area 10 minutes prior to their scheduled start time. Teams who are more then 5-minutes late will not be allowed to present. A schedule of presentation times will be posted during the competition.

  1. Teams are encouraged to walk around and view/discuss presentations with other teams.

Refer to page 10 to review the complete Oral Poster Presentation Guide

9th Annual Greater Philadelphia Sea Perch Challenge

2014 Competition Specification
2014 Sea Perch Challenge Poster Presentation Checklist


Company Information and Objectives

• Company Description

• Mission/Vision statement and purpose that includes naval engineering focus

Organization/structure of company explained

• Recruiting methods for new company members

Budget Management
• Identified and itemized modifications

Explained trade offs for various modifications



Design Process

• Identified steps to achieve design modifications/alternatives

• Demonstrated design research as part of their process, (naval engineering research)

• Identified technical calculations or testing to optimize/select design

• Practicing and testing was well planned

• Lessons learned from testing were present and specific
Engineering Process and Roles
• Discusses naval engineering field and roles

• Demonstrates knowledge of design process: problem definition, tradeoffs, and testing.

• Identifies naval engineering design considerations.


O Overall Appearance ( Max. size: 48” x 36)

• Poster Size

• Use of colors

• Text, Graphics Balance

Organization & Flow

Objectives & Main Points/Summary
Presentation Skills
• Focus on naval engineering

• Fluent, clear, audible delivery. Correct grammar and language use

• Non-verbal skills: Posture; practiced use of visual aids

Overall confident, direct, and animated.

• Presenters and teamwork (at least 2 presenters and less than 9)
Visual Aids
• CAD/other, visualization (Power Point Rendering) aids

• Visual aids (charts etc.) neat well prepared

• Creative use of other visual aids presentation techniques


Clarification of System Designs

• Team response to judges questions

6. Team Spirit and Sportsmanship
1. Teams are encouraged to show their team spirit during the competition. Judges will watch throughout the competition to determine the teams with the highest levels of team spirit.
2. Each team shall sit together in the bleachers of the pool area. Teams are asked to have a team flag to identify their team to the judges.
3. Drums, plastic bottles containing beads, cow bells, and bull horns and all percussion instruments are strictly prohibited.
4. Flag specifications shall conform to:
• Maximum flag pole height is 7 feet

• Maximum flag dimensions are 3 feet by 3 feet

The flag shall prominently display the school and team names

• A maximum of 1 flag per school is allowed

5. Other ways to show school spirit and sportsmanship:
• Cheering for teammates during team competition

• Demonstrate sportsmanship by cheering for and assisting other schools

• Posters & signs

Team clothing

• Cheers
6. The sportsmanship award will be determined through a voting process. Teams will be observed by competition judges. Teams displaying sportsmanship will be nominated by the judges and the nominations will be placed in a voting box. The lead Spirit & Sportsmanship judge will make the final decision on the winner by calculating the combined Spirit & Sportsmanship scores.
7. Craft Design Compliance

1. All Sea Perch ROV entries will be subjected to two (2) compliance reviews prior to the competition.

a. Craft Design and Modifications
1. Vehicles shall consist of the parts and components contained within the equivalent of one SeaPerch kit, with the following exceptions:
• Teams have a budget of $20.00 to modify the Sea Perch. It is the actual value of the modifications that must be $20.00 or less. Donated material should be assessed at what the cost would be to procure the material. The $20 limit is for costs of the materials utilized on the final competition vehicle. Reasonable spare parts are not included in this budget.
• No dimension shall be larger than 22" (minimum obstacle diameter)
• Additional motors may be utilized for actuation or other non-propulsion uses. Motors may be found at Jameco P/N 232022.
Teams may only utilize Sea Perch thrusters (Jameco P/N 232022).
Teams may not add additional thrusters to the Sea Perch. A thruster is defined as a means of propulsion for the Sea Perch, normally but not limited to a motor and propeller assembly.
Teams will design for and utilize a 12-volt power source (provided). Over charging or stacking batteries is not allowed.
2. Questions about cost and design should be submitted to phillyseaperch.org prior to competition.
8. Craft Compliance Inspection Overview
a. All Sea Perch ROV entries will be subjected to two (2) compliance reviews upon entry into the competition. Upon arrival and sign-in, you will proceed to Compliance Check-In # 1. Your vehicle will receive its first review consisting of an overall safety compliance check. Once you have completed Compliance #1 you will be subject to Compliance #2 to check the craft for maneuverability in the water. Your team cannot proceed to any of the follow-on events unless these requirements are fulfilled. A sticker will be provided to show you have passed Compliance # 1 and #2.
A triage station equipped with spare parts and tools just will be provided for teams to make repairs, adjustments and rebalance their ROV's during the competition. In a competition be sure that something will go wrong. It’s always better to be prepared rather than have to scramble for extra parts in the heat of the moment.
b. Compliance #1 - Judges will be checking the following:

1. Sturdy Construction

    1. No loose parts that will potentially fall off during competition or handling

    2. Ballast attachment is secure

    3. Propeller is properly and securely fastened to motor shaft

    4. Camera location and method of attachment and video interface is identified (see camera info next page)

2. Safety

    1. No Exposed wires on controller

    2. No Exposed live wires on SeaPerch or tether

    3. No sharp edges

    4. Alligator Clip covers (supplied with the kit) are installed on electrical contacts as appropriate

3. Operations

    1. Team connects battery to demonstrate forward and reverse operation of each propeller to ensure they are in proper working order.

4. Design Compliance

    1. No more than 3 motors are used for propulsion (3 props)

    2. Propeller motors are standard issue and have not been upgraded

    3. If design modifications appear to exceed $15, team identifies that they have valid receipts submitted with their notebook to support their design modifications are less than $20.

A serialized tag (label tape) will be attached by the judge to the Sea Perch frame.

All Sea perch ROVs then must proceed to the pool area and check in to Compliance Station # 2 and obtain approval by a judge prior to the team competing in the pool events.
c. Compliance Station #2 - Water Compliance Maneuverability - Judges will be checking the following:
1. Buoyancy

2. Maneuverability - Demonstrate that the SeaPerch has the ability to submerge and can surface

A serialized tag (label tape) will be attached by the judge to the Sea Perch frame. Ballast changes by the team may be necessary to satisfactorily complete this test.
Part III Competition Day
a. Schedule of Events

The time between the morning check-in process and the first round of the competition is approximately 1 ½ hours. Listed below is a sample of the days' schedule.

  • Team Registration and compliance

  • Presentation of Colors

  • Opening Remarks

  • Performance Rounds and Oral Presentations begin

  • *Lunch Break (1 hour for lunch)

  • Awards Ceremony (approximate time 3:00 pm)

*You may want to pack a lunch. Lunch items may be available for purchase.

Refreshments – Cold water will be made available to all event attendees in the pool area at no charge. Updated information for a schedule of events can be obtained by visiting the Drexel website at least 1 week prior to the competition. http://www.phillyseaperch.org

b. What is available to the team during the competition?

  1. Testing pools will be set-up on the outside of Drexel’s athletic the center for practicing with your Sea Perch. A staff member will be available at these testing pools to provide assistance and ensure compliance.

  1. A Triage Station will be set-up in close proximity to the pool deck area. Minor repairs and adjustments to your vehicle can be done in triage. A qualified volunteer will be assigned to the triage station to provide you with assistance.

  1. Cameras, Monitors and Batteries – high school teams must comply with one of the following options:

a.) Use the camera provided at the poolside during the object recovery competition (must supply your own battery at pool side)

b.) Come with the exact camera shown already mounted and simply connect to our compatible monitor and use our battery.

c.) You may use a different camera and can mount it they way you want. You must have your own battery and must have either a RCA connection or a BNC connection with an adaptor to an RCA jack in order to interface with our monitors.

c. Arrival and Check In

  1. Plan to arrive between 7:30 and 8:00 am. Allow time for traffic.

  2. Registration begins at 8:00 am. Advisors should report directly to registration

  3. A step-by-step check list must be completed and must be certified (initial) complete by a lead judge at each location before a team is eligible to compete. Once the check list has been complete it should be handed into the lead compliance officer in the gym.

Steps to complete:

  1. Registration

  2. Compliance 1 Craft Inspection (only 2 team members including advisor)

  3. Compliance 2 Water Test (only 2 team members including advisor)

  4. Poster Presentation set-up

  1. Two (2) team members (including advisor), with their Sea Perch, should report directly to compliance stations #1 and then to compliance # 2. Only 2 team members are permitted to be at compliance station #2 (dive pool area), prior to the start of the competition to pass the maneuverability test. All other team members and spectators must report to the gym for the opening ceremony.



  1. If repairs to the Sea Perch are needed two team members may report to Triage prior to the opening ceremony.

  1. Testing of your SeaPerch for maneuverability maybe conducted in the test pools located outside of the gym.

d. General Pool Performance Rules

  1. All team members must wear shoes with rubber soles on the pool deck.

  1. Teams will report to the “Mission Course” or “Obstacle Course” side of the pool deck at least 5 minutes before their scheduled heat time.

  1. Only 2 team members are allowed on the pool deck during competition. Teams are permitted to change drivers for each round.

  1. The vehicle may be reset by the teams during the competition.

  2. Hooks and other attachments may be added/removed between competition rounds.

  1. Nothing other than the Sea Perch vehicle shall be put into the pool during the competition.

  1. In the event that a vehicle is inadvertently interfered with during a competition, or a malfunction of a vehicle's parts (i.e., the motor) occurs that is beyond the design and construction, the lead pool judge will have the sole authority to provide the team time to fix their vehicle and to allow them to compete at a later time. Malfunctions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and the lead pool judge will have the sole authority to limit the number of times a team may retry to compete.

e. Challenges and Disputes
1. Sportsmanship is expected at all times. Should a protest or dispute occur during the competition it is the intent to resolve the grievance at the time it occurs, and the ruling by the Head Judge shall be final.
2. A team that wishes to have an issue considered shall send the student team captain and one additional student member (2) to the lead judge with the inquiry or question. The lead judge will make the decision on the issue, and this decision is final. The same issue may not be brought to the judge a second time by any member of the team. Adults may not approach the lead judge on the pool deck regarding any perceived issues.
3. Teams may not question the legality of other competing vehicles; it is the Lead Compliance Judge's role to determine if vehicles meet the entry and compliance requirements.
4. Unsportsmanlike conduct is grounds for the disqualification of a team. Team members and advisors are responsible for the conduct of all members and adults accompanying the team.
2. Awards Ceremony
a. Awards will be announced at the conclusion of the competition

Part IV 2014 Pool Performance Rounds Outlined
a. Round 1 Obstacle Course Maneuvering and Scoring
1. An underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) must be able to maneuver successfully under its own power. If a vehicle cannot maneuver to the appropriate location to perform its task, the vehicle is of no use.
2. The submerged obstacle course involves large rings (22" 24” minimum diameter), oriented in various directions, through which the vehicles must travel. For every hoop your team makes it through you will receive points.
3. Teams must navigate through the obstacle course, surface, then re-submerge and return through the course in reverse order to the end. Consideration of optimal maneuverability, control, and speed should be given when constructing your Sea Perch (thruster placement and orientation, tether attachment, buoyancy and ballast, etc.) and control box. The judge will verify your team made it through the last hoop & broke the surface of the water with your craft. If your team is not able to make it through a hoop, you may skip it.
4. Scores for this round will be based on the fastest time for successfully navigating the obstacle course.
5. There are five (5) hoops in the obstacle course. You will be given a total of no more than 10 minutes to make it through the course.
6. The vehicle cannot be dragged through the obstacle course via the tether.
7. The judge’s stopwatch will begin when the whistle blows and stop when your team makes it back through the first hoop and surfaces on the end where you started.

Figure 1: Obstacle Course Assembly Layout Example

b. Round 2 Underwater Mission:

The Heist

Many times, underwater vehicles are used to retrieve items from the sea floor, or the floor of a harbor or port. The ability to recover objects off the sea floor depends on the vehicle’s ability to grasp or manipulate the object, and also to lift or carry it to another destination. If the object is too heavy, or it unbalances the craft, or the craft cannot get control of the object, the vehicle cannot successfully perform its mission. In addition to recovering objects, ROVs are also called upon to perform tasks that are too dangerous for humans to perform. In this underwater mission, your ROV has been tasked in the retrieval of communication boxes that were lost at sea and are of great value to the United States. Unfortunately, the communication boxes were discovered by a Russian submarine and temporarily placed in a secure holding area at the bottom of the Baltic Sea until they can be retrieved and decoded. Your task is to maneuver your ROV through a small security access door, clear underwater mines, and retrieve the communication boxes before the Russian submarine returns.

2. Challenge Construction:

Security Wall

The course is consisted of a security wall, spanning the lane from bottom to surface. The wall, when installed, will stand 2’ below the surface of the pool. The security wall is made of ½ “PVC pipe and fittings. The security wall is covered with a wire mesh, similar to chicken wire.

Access Door

3’ below the surface will be the access door. The door sits within a 24” opening in the middle of the wall. The access door is constructed of ½” PVC pipe and fittings. In order to open the access door, the operator will have to manipulate a simple latch and push the door open. The access door is covered with a wire mesh. For this challenge, the Sea-Perch teams must design a probe of some sort and attach it to the ROV for operating the latch.


There will be two underwater mines protecting the locked gate that must be cleared from the bottom of the pool before the ROV can safely maneuver forward to retrieve the boxes. For this challenge, the Sea-Perch teams must design a probe of some sort and attach it to the ROV for releasing the mines from the pool floor.

Communication Box

Beyond the mines, there will be six communication boxes. The operator will have to attempt to retrieve as many of the boxes as possible in the time provided. Retrieved boxes will have to then be transported to the end of the pool, on the operator’s side of the wall to be scored. The boxes are visually identical. Each box is constructed from Digikey P/N 377-1165-ND with a ¼” Polypropylene line as a handle by which they can be

picked up and transported. The boxes will contain varying weights. The weights will range from very light to very heavy. Specific weights will be published at a later date. For this challenge, the Sea-Perch teams must design a hook of some sort and attach it to the ROV for retrieving the boxes. Normal Sea Perch design and construction will allow the ROV to retrieve the lightweight and middleweight boxes from the pool floor. To lift and retrieve the heavyweight boxes, the ROV alone is not enough to do this job. The Sea-Perch teams must design a way to overcome the additional weight. Consideration of buoyancy, thrust, hook placement and attachment, camera placement and attachment, and ballasting become very important in this mission.

Cameras (high school only)

Remotely operated underwater vehicles almost never perform their duties within direct sight of the operators. Instead, they rely on remote sensors such as video cameras to enable them to achieve their goals. This can introduce difficulties though, as cameras can only reveal a portion of the vehicle’s surroundings. ROVs designed and operated by High School teams must use Cameras for this mission. Care must be taken in the design and operation of the vehicles such that the vehicle has the sufficient vision to complete its task. Each team should bring their battery to the pool.

3. Scores for this mission shall be based on the following challenge within the time limit:

• 4 points shall be awarded for opening the Security Door

• 4 points shall be awarded for each mine released

• 4 points shall be awarded for each of the (4) four “standard boxes retrieved

• 8 points shall be awarded for each of the (2) two “super heavy” boxes retrieved

4. There is a maximum of 44 points that can be earned by completing all challenged tasks.

5. In the event more than one team finishes the underwater mission with the same number of total of points, the team that acquired the last point in the shortest time shall be placed ahead of another team with the same total.

Part V Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I need training?

Teacher training is strongly recommended for new teachers and mentors. New Teacher Training is scheduled for December 7, 2013 at Drexel’s College of Engineering. Training is available on the seaperch.org website as build videos, supported by live webcasts for troubleshooting.

  1. How many kits are provided? Can I purchase a kit?

Teams will receive one or two kits depending on availability. Additional kits are available for purchase thru www.seaperch.org. In total, a basic SeaPerch Kit (including battery and charger) currently costs $143.

  1. What if I need tools?

Tools are loaned based on need and availability. You may request tools through the phillyseaperch.org website. A Tool Bag containing tools that can be used for multiple SeaPerch builds (and reused year after year!) are available at www.seaperch.org and currently costs $223.

  1. If I did not pick up my kits, tools or camera can it be shipped to my school?

Equipment maybe shipped to a school at their own expense. You must provide the SeaPerch committee with a shipping label. Equipment pick-up arrangements must be submitted through the phillyseaperch.org web site.

  1. How long does the build take?

At a minimum, it is recommended to schedule 10 hours of build time. The remaining time should be spent on designing, modifying and testing. Follow the sample POA&M published on the phillyseaperch.org website.

  1. Can I add enhancements?

Yes, as long as the enhancements are within the $20.00 budget permitted. Students are encouraged to think outside the box in the creation of their ROVs.

  1. How can I obtain spare parts?

You may send a request through phillyseaperch.org web and check for availability. If parts are NOT available through excess inventory refer to page 22 for a list of parts and vendors.

  1. Will high school teams be required to rely on the camera to navigate the obstacle course?

High school teams will not be required to rely on cameras when completing the obstacle course (hula hoop) portion of the pool round. Underwater cameras will only be required for high school teams when completing the mission portion of the pool round. Middle school teams will not be required to rely on cameras for either the Mission or obstacle course parts of the pool round.

  1. What if my underwater camera is not working?

Notify the committee through the phillyseaperch.org web explaining the problem. A committee member will get back to you with a solution or offer a replacement camera or monitor.

  1. What if we don’t have a pool?

Contact local hotels, YMCAs or colleges. Many times they will allow you access for your testing. If all else fails, you can purchase a small above-ground pool or use a large plastic tub

  1. Is it legal to stack two or more Jameco P/N 232022 props on the motor shafts used for propulsion?

A team can use as many props as they want and in any configuration. Teams may not add additional thrusters to the Sea Perch. A thruster is defined as a means of propulsion for the Sea Perch, normally but not limited to a motor and propeller assembly.
At the Regional Competition level, the rules were written to reflect that no more than three motors for propulsion can be used and the motors must be the ones supplied with the kit. Teams are free to choose their craft's method of propulsion, provided it meets the budget criteria established for the Challenge. They can use as many props as they want and in any configuration. Track systems that drive on the bottom of the pool are also acceptable as long as they stick to the three propulsion motor rule.

  1. Do we count additional ballast into our budget?

Since the flotation provided for the Sea Perch kit can be easily modified to adjust the buoyancy of the craft, there should be no need for additional ballast. Therefore, any additional ballast that the teams decide to purchase must be accounted for in their receipts. Rocks could be used for free though as long as they haven't been purchased.

  1. How many team members are permitted on a team?

There is no limit. Refer to the rules and guidelines regarding the number of team members permitted to actually compete in each of the categories during the competition. Spectators and excess team members are welcome.

  1. Where will the final scores be posted?

Go to phillyseaperch.org to view final rankings.

Degree Elbow




White PVC 1/2" x 12" - Straight Pipe




White PVC 1/2" - Tee




Mesh - 12" x 8" - Black Polyethylene




Pool Noodle - 5" Piece




Cable/Zip Ties - 6" Black




Tie Wraps - Motor Mount - 11-1/4" - Blue




12 VDC Motor. 0.7 A - Shaft Diameter "0.091"




Film Canister - 35 mm or Plastic Vial - 50 ml




Propellers - Plastic 1/8" Shaft Size


Tower Hobbies


Propeller Shaft Threaded Coupler


Tower Hobies


Threaded Insert Tee Nut




Nylon-Insert Hex Locknut 4-40 - Stainless Steel




50 ft. 350 Mhz Cat 5e Stranded Cable W/RJ-45




Velcro Cable Tie




SeaSwitch Control Box Kit



See Below

18 Awg Speaker Wire - 6'




Alligator Clips (Set of 2)




Black Alligator Clip Insulator




Red Alligator Clip Insulator




Solder - 60/40 Rosin Core




Butyl Rubber Tape - 1.5" x 3" (Monkey Dung)




Alcohol Wipe




Electrical Tape - Black - Roll




Wax Bowl Ring




Safety Glasses




Disposable Latex Gloves




Sharpie Marker - Black or Red




Sealed Lead Acid Battery - 12 V, 7 Ah,




Sealed Lead Acid Battery Charger - 12 V, 500 mA




Battery Charger Cable - SLA Cord




Miniature Toggle Switches DPDT (ON)-OFF-(ON)




Pushbutton Switches ON-(ON) SPDT center




Switch Caps and Accessories .310" RN RD CAP




Modular Jacks 8P8C Low Profile KEYED




Fuse Holder BK/PCS




Fuse - 0.2" Radial Lead, 6.3A TE5




Enclosure w/Screws



Some items are readily available at your local home improvement store or hobby shop.

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