HESTEC kicks off Friday with SeaPerch Challenge

Approximately 140 Rio Grande Valley high school students will compete Friday in the 2020 SeaPerch Challenge at the Margaret M. Clark Aquatic Center in Brownsville.

The underwater robotics competition, hosted by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in partnership with the U.S. Navy, will kick-start a new format to Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology (HESTEC) this spring semester. The new structure for HESTEC, a nationally recognized model for promoting STEM careers in science, technology, engineering and math to students of all ages in the Rio Grande Valley, will feature several events throughout the year at both UTRGV campuses in Brownsville and Edinburg.

Also this month, HESTEC will host GEAR UP Days for UTRGV GEAR UP students in Edinburg and Brownsville Jan. 28-30.

Students competing in the SeaPerch Challenge, a regional event, will utilize their robotics, engineering, science, and mathematics skills while building an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) as part of the competition.

A total of 27 teams made up of five students each are judged on their robot’s design, as well as the accuracy of their aquatic droid in navigating through an underwater obstacle course.

Students begin arriving at 7:30 a.m., with a short program and welcome remarks at 8:30 a.m. The competition begins at 9 and the awards ceremony is at 3:30 p.m.