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Southwest Wisconsin Robotics Challenge held
winning RCHS team
Herb Thomas (L) and RCHS physics teacher Zak Dray are shown with members of the winning Richland Center High School team, Alex Coy, Ember Hobbs, Allison Schauf, Nina Myszkowski and Keely Liska.

On February 26, the Southwest Wisconsin Regional Sea Perch Underwater Robotics Challenge was held at Kickapoo High School. Richland Center High School took first place and La Farge High School placed second. Included in the competition was an underwater obstacle course and poster presentation. 

Sea Perch is an innovative underwater robotics program that teaches teachers and students to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The curriculum teaches science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), with a marine engineering theme. Throughout the project, students learn engineering concepts, problem solving and teamwork design skills and are exposed to all the exciting careers that are possible in Naval architecture and marine/ocean engineering. 

High school physics-science teachers-student mentors this year are Lori Martin, Zach Dray and Andrea Haugo.

This year’s local sponsors included Richland Center High School Friends of Science Foundation, Strang Heating and Air Conditioning, and Richland County Bank.

Regional Sea Perch facilitator is the Madison Navy League Council and the Navy League STEM institute, whose mission is to put science, technology, engineers and mathematics into the minds of America’s middle and high school youth and instill interest in developing basic skill sets for career opportunities. Any teacher or parent interested may contact Herb Thomas, U.S. Navy (Ret.) National Navy League STEM Committee at .

Winners are now eligible to compete this year in May at the National Sea Perch Underwater Robotics Challenge at Louisiana State University.