Cadets Support Innovative Program with Local High School Students
High School students from a nearby high school descended on Cal Maritime to compete using underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) that they had constructed, simulating oil spills and underwater exploration and salvage. The program, part of a nationwide underwater robotics program called SeaPerch, was organized by the Cal Maritime chapter of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME).
Cal Maritime students from the SNAME chapter worked with oceanography students from nearby Benicia High School to construct the ROVs, allowing for a unique hands-on application of science and engineering concepts.
"Just like the students run the ship on Cal Maritime's Training Cruises, the students have done everything on this project," said David Buckley, a mechanical engineering student at Cal Maritime.
The Benicia High School students placed their ROVs into the Mayo Hall pool, then competed in four different categories: gulf oil spill simulation, exploration simulation, piloting skills, and salvage simulation.
"I like being able to make this kind of program available to high school students," said Davede Thompson, a Cal maritime mechanical engineering major. "I wish I'd had this kind of opportunity when I was in high school."
A pilot program was launched last year with 14 local students. This spring, it expanded to 60 students with plans to grow further next year.
The initiative was supported through private donors at Benicia High School as well as funding from ASCME and the Maritime Fund.