Sea, Air, and Land Challenge participants with their team-made robot.

The BCIU hosted its first annual Sea, Air, and Land (SeAL) Challenge on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, sponsored by Penn State University Berks Campus, Penn State Harrisburg, and Customers’ Bank. The SeAL Challenge is intended to introduce high school students (grades 9-12) to career opportunities they may not have otherwise known existed. This competition also helps high school educators and administrators implement a successful science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program into their school district by providing curriculum that is directly linked to the challenge. 

Teams were able to sign up for three categories: Sea, Air, or Land. For each category, high school teams tackled difficult engineering tasks that mimicked missions encountered by the military, national security agencies, and first responders. Teams participating in the Sea category were instructed to develop a submersible to search for a sunken vessel for clues to an accident. This portion required students to make their project move objects in a ten-foot by ten-foot water tank, containing nearly 1,500 gallons of water. 

Teams signed up for the Air category were to build a payload for a quadcopter that could release aerial drops onto dangerous forest fires. This challenge required teams to fly drones, drop off “freight” of their choice, and search for other objects on the course. 

Teams taking part in the Land classification were charged to build a robot that could deliver supplies to people trapped in a city building after an earthquake. This task required students to move their robot around a course on the ground, with obstacles in their way, and pick up/drop off several objects. BCTC West students built the land course, following the blueprints that the SeAL Challenge provided. 

This year there were a total of five teams across the three categories. Three school districts were represented: Bloomsburg Area High School, Reading High School, and Wyomissing Area High School. Although there is no competition for the SeAL Challenge, students were awarded first, second, or third place awards. 

For more information, visit: https://seaairland.psu.edu/.