Two Rotorua high school students impressed judges in an international competition with their problem-solving around a real-world issue.
Recently Siwan Lloyd-Jones, 13, from Rotorua Lakes High School and Jurnee Leonard, 14, from Western Heights High School presented their "Lake Weed in Rotorua Lakes" project to the International SeaPerch Community.
Siwan and Jurnee, Team Tahi of the Te Aka Mauri Young Engineers Club, qualified to participate in the International SeaPerch Competition by winning the High School Division of the New Zealand Aquabots Competition in November 2020.
SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics programme that equips students, educators, and parents with the resources they need to build an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
The annual International SeaPerch Challenge is an invitation-only event open to teams that excel at registered regional competitions and earn a slot to compete in the season's culminating event.
Ordinarily, the International SeaPerch Challenge would involve students from around the world travelling to compete together, but due to Covid travel restrictions, the International SeaPerch Competition was purely virtual.
Siwan and Jurnee prepared for the competition by identifying a real-world problem (Lake Weed in Rotorua Lakes).
They then created a solution using their underwater robot, designed a poster to convey their information and prepared a technical design report and engineering journal.
Finally, the girls participated in an interview about their design and real-life problem solution.
The girls impressed the judges with their poster and were invited to participate in the International SeaPerch presentations.
Only eight teams were selected from 31 entries - including high schools and middle schools.
Final results were announced on the final day of the competition.
Out of the 35 high school entries they achieved fourth equal for their interview, 20th for their technical design and seventh (out of 20) for their poster. The poster was judged by peer/popular vote.
Siwan and Jurnee are looking forward to participating in the NZ Aquabots competition, starting with the Rotorua Regional on September 25 and 26.
Anyone looking to get involved should contact Jessica Cathro, digital technology educator at Te Aka Mauri, for more information.