The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas and Arkansas 4-H will host the 2021 Arkansas SeaPerch Challenge, an underwater robotics competition on Friday, March 12 through Wednesday, March 17. Due to the current pandemic, the competition will be a virtual event.

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 virtual contest, teams will submit an engineering report summarizing their design process and participate in a team interview. Teams also have the opportunity to submit videos showcasing how their SeaPerch navigates 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. A new addition to the challenge is for teams to present ideas on how to use this technology in a real-world setting. The goal is to ignite students’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The winner of the Arkansas SeaPerch Challenge will advance to the International SeaPerch Challenge that will be held virtually June 4th through 5th. Teams will compete in similar events of the state challenge.

“The students participating in the 2021 event and other students throughout Arkansas have displayed an impressive ability to adapt to conditions caused by the current pandemic,” said Rob Roedel, director of corporate communications for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “Arkansas’ electric cooperatives are dedicated to improving the quality of life in the communities that we serve. By working with our long-time partner, Arkansas 4-H, we consider programs like SeaPerch to fuel innovation and STEM-based intuitive learning for future leaders.”

To learn more about the SeaPerch initiative, visit the SeaPerch website.

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 500,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states.

For additional information, contact:

Rob Roedel, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas at (501) 570-2296 or email Rob.