Ports of Jersey launches SeaPerch competition to secondary schools

From Port of Jersey
20th September 2021

Ports of Jersey has launched a new competition among local secondary school students encouraging individual teams to build a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), in association with international organisations SeaPerch and RoboNation.

The SeaPerch programme guides students on building an underwater robot, while supplying educators with the tools and training to help them through the process.

As part of the launch, which was held in the Cargo Centre at Jersey Airport last Friday 17 September, a number of the teams taking part had the opportunity to meet their fellow competitors, learnt how ROVs are used as part of maritime operations at the harbour, found out more about the competition and were presented with their kits by Group CEO, Matt Thomas.

The students now have just ten weeks to build and modify their ROVs, supported by mentors and technical experts from Ports of Jersey’s Group Technical Services (GTS). At the end of November, there will be a swimming pool-based competition, where a range of challenges will be set, including an obstacle course, poster presentation and a speed trial. The teams are also being encouraged to film and share their progress, which will be posted via Ports of Jersey social media channels.

The following schools have signed up for the challenge, which is aimed at Year 9 students.

  • Beaulieu
  • Grainville
  • JCG
  • Le Rocquier
  • Les Quennevais
  • Mont a L’Abbe Secondary School

Aaron Gavey, Transformational Head of GTS for Ports of Jersey, is looking forward to seeing how the schools get on with building their ROVs. He said, ‘We’re delighted to be able to offer this unusual and quirky competition to these schools. I’ve seen the ROVs in action and they’re great fun to operate, while building them encourages the teams to develop basic engineering, design, presentation, and science skills.

‘Ports of Jersey is committed to supporting our community. We hope this competition supports future talent by sparking an interest in STEM subjects among students, particularly as the students will be selecting their GCSE subjects this year. During the competition, our mentors will showcase the variety of opportunities available, both within Ports of Jersey, but elsewhere on the Island too.’

Adam Sykes, Employability Coordinator and Head of Physics from Jersey College for Girls, said, ‘Our students are really looking forward to getting stuck in and starting to build the Remote Operated Vehicles. Thanks to Ports of Jersey for creating this incredible opportunity, which has been a big hit with the students. This awe-inspiring competition will be a great insight into the world of engineering.’

To find out more about SeaPerch, visit the website at https://seaperch.org/

Port of Jersey