Bethlehem Press

Monday, August 20, 2018
press photo by mark kirlinSeaPerch Team (From left to right): Pete Pequeno, Shanti Sajnaji, Sofia Demotte, Courtney Snyder, Ken Napaver and Teegan Lannon represent the SeaPerch team at the recent school board meeting. press photo by mark kirlinSeaPerch Team (From left to right): Pete Pequeno, Shanti Sajnaji, Sofia Demotte, Courtney Snyder, Ken Napaver and Teegan Lannon represent the SeaPerch team at the recent school board meeting.

SAUCON VALLEY Board highlights SeaPerch Program

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 by Mark Kirlin Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Middle school Principal Ken Napaver highlighted Saucon Valley’s first year of involvement with a program called SeaPerch during the school board meeting March 27.

SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in an in-school or out-of-school setting. The program was initially developed by MIT and the U.S. Office of Naval Research.

SeaPerch allows students to learn and develop skills using STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics.)

Under the first year of participation, nearly 30 students from seventh and eighth grade signed up to participate in the program.

Of the students on hand to speak to the board were Teegan Lannon, Courtney Snyder, Sofia Demotte and Shanti Sajnaji.

According to student Courtney Snyder “I loved working with SeaPerch since it gave me the opportunity to experience and to use my practical creativity and problem-solving that I otherwise wouldn’t get to in traditional academics.”

One of the highlights of the program was Saucon’s participation in the Greater Philadelphia 2018 SeaPerch competition held at Temple University on March 9.

Seventh grader Sofia Demotte told the board, “I though SeaPerch was a very creative and fun experience.” In speaking of the competition, Demotte said the team got to diffuse and disable a bomb.

Although Saucon did not win any awards at the competition, Sajnaji said, “I think it was good because we got to take down what we did and how we could have done better and what we could do better in the future.”

Napaver said it was a very positive experience for the students, including the parents.

One such parent was Pete Pequeno, who is an electrical engineer. He helped instruct the team with building robots and assisted in soldering things such as circuit boards. According to Pequeno, “It was just amazing to work with kids because they were so engaged. They blew me away as far as their trouble shooting skills and their ability to do things ... they did an awesome job and I’m so proud of them.”

Saucon’s SeaPerch team was privately funded. Some of the sponsors included Victaulic, St. Lukes Health Network, J & J Luxury Transportation, Capital Blue, Demco Automation, Barry Isett & Associates, FirstGeneration and ASR Media.