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The City Journals

Bonneville Robotics Champions

Jun 29, 2016 10:06AM ● By Carol Hendrycks

Bonneville Junior High robotics champions with Lucia Bisbee (teacher), Holladay Mayor Dahle, and Councilmembers Pace, Gunn and Stewart. – Holladay

by Carol Hendrycks | [email protected]


Holladay City Council welcomed students from Bonneville Junior High ages 12 to 14 to talk about their winning status in the area of robotics. This year there were 20 students from seventh to ninth grade, with five teams of four students each participating in the state SeaPerch Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Competition. Lucia Bisbee was the main advisor, mentor and teacher for this project at Bonneville Junior High. She worked with Morgan Boyack at the University of Utah Engineering Outreach program to help bring a student from the University of Utah engineering program to help the students during the building process. Bisbee proposed a grant to the national SeaPerch program last year and was awarded five complete student kits and one complete tool kit, worth $2,500.

 This year, Brigham Young University hosted the state competition at the Lehi Legacy Center. The students had to deliver three lights (pool rings) into a housing structure made out of PVCs underwater. Then they had to retrieve a safe (constructed out of PVC piping) from the house and bring it to the surface. When the safe was delivered poolside, the students attached a pump and delivered it to the bucket inside the housing structure. The students also had to complete a poster presentation to explain the building process, engineering skills learned and used during the process, real-life underwater ROV applications and how the project teaches science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills.   

The National SeaPerch Challenge in Baton Rouge was different. The students had to reevaluate their design and make changes to it both structurally and operationally to be ready for the competition. The first challenge was the poster presentation. This was submitted almost three weeks prior to the event and the students had to make a digital presentation similar to the state competition, but more in depth and with more specific criteria. The second challenge was an obstacle course — the students had to navigate the ROV through a series of 18” rings, surface, and then return to the pool side. The third challenge consisted of various orbs that needed to be released underwater and then corralled to an upside-down bucket underwater or a poolside pen. Both the challenges at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge were timed and the team with the fastest time and highest points won. 

The Bonneville Junior High students who competed at the National SeaPerch Challenge in Baton Rouge were Siena Robinson, Alex Bach, Alaina Nielson and Annie O’Bryan. They placed second in the state competition. In Baton Rouge, there were only 195 teams from across the nation, Australia, the Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In Utah, there were 205 teams from seventh to 12 grade that competed. The winners received team trophies, certificates of completion and national recognition. This is the first year of the Robotics Club at Bonneville Junior High. “This was a huge success and we are excited to see it grow!” Bisbee said.    λ