Penn State Altoona hosted its first Sea, Air and Land (SeAL) Challenge on Friday, April 12.
Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, the SeAL Challenge is a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program for high school students in which they tackle difficult engineering tasks that mimic missions encountered by the military, national security agencies, and first responders. The challenges were designed by engineers at the Penn State Electro-Optics Center and by some of the country’s finest Navy SEALs and Green Berets.
Teams of students from five local high schools worked on their projects for several months before competition day. They were tasked with designing unmanned vehicles and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance payloads. For the sea portion, teams developed a submersible to search a sunken UROV for a recoverable payload. Air required building a payload for a quadcopter that could release aerial drops onto dangerous forest fires. The land section had students building a robot that could deliver supplies to people trapped in a city building after an earthquake.
The winning teams are as follows:
- Sea Challenge: Team Phogill, Hollidaysburg Area High School
- Air Challenge: Operation Blackbird, Altoona Area High School
- Land Challenge: Team Epsilon, Hollidaysburg Area High School
- Most Innovative Award: Team Tigair, Hollidaysburg Area High School