Little Rock, Ark. — Feb. 28, 2022 — The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas and Arkansas 4-H will host the 2022 Arkansas SeaPerch Challenge, an underwater robotics competition, on Friday, March 11 at The Center at Bishop Park in Bryant. An estimated 165 students will represent 41 teams from 11 counties at the event. Event participation has grown by more than 400 percent since 2016.

The SeaPerch is a remotely-operated submersible built from more than three dozen parts, including PVC pipe, pool noodles, three 12-volt motors and batteries. During the contest, teams must navigate their SeaPerch through obstacle courses and complete other tasks, such as moving plastic rings from one part of the course and successfully placing them to another part. The goal is to ignite students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

During this year’s competition, competitors will use their SeaPerch robots to simulate space exploration. Robots are becoming more common on the International Space Station and training for maneuvers happen underwater. The winner of the Arkansas SeaPerch Challenge will advance to the International SeaPerch Challenge that will be held June 4, 2022, at the University of Maryland.

“Arkansas’ electric cooperatives are dedicated to providing STEM-based educational opportunities for Arkansas’ youth,” said Rob Roedel, director of corporate communications for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “Our partnership with Arkansas 4-H has resulted in tremendous growth in this program that opens learning paths for the future leaders of our state.”

To learn more about the Arkansas 4-H SeaPerch Challenge, visit 4h.uada.edu. More information about the SeaPerch initiative can be found at seaperch.org/about.

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 600,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states.

For additional information, contact:

Rob Roedel, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, 501.570.2296 or rob.roedel@aecc.com

www.ecark.org