PSHS robotics powerhouse

The 3rd Annual SeaPerch Regional Competition took place last Friday, March 9th, at Gulf Coast State College. SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that equips and encourages student teams to build remotely operated vehicles. Students use basic SeaPerch robotics kits, but are also allowed to spend up to $20 in outside enhancements to their robot.

PSHS winners: Joseph Godwin, sponsor Trey Paul, and Bryson Potts with their 1st place overall champion trophy

For the third year in a row, Poplar Springs High School’s own Joseph Godwin and Bryson Potts walked away with the overall winner championship trophy. The brilliant duo is the only team to ever win this regional tournament. For those who may not understand the enormity of this win, the SeaPerch regional competition is a preliminary qualifier that opens the door to the international competition, that sees multiple other countries bring in teams to compete. These boys faced over 70 other teams in Panama City, and took home 1st place. This summer, they will be featured on the international stage at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

PSHS Robotics Team: (back) Jack Middlebrooks, Bryson Potts, Joseph Godwin, and Jorden Odom; (middle) Natalie Holton, Leyla Sharpe, and Jacob Clark; (front) Gracie Mitchell and Kayla Rister; (not pictured LJ Earnest and Beverly Earnest).

The PSHS robotics program, spearheaded by sponsor and mentor Trey Paul, has grown to powerhouse level in the robotics and STEM fields. In January, the program won 1st place in Robotics at the Florida Senior Beta State Convention in Orlando. Robotics has only been a featured category at the state convention level for two years, and both 1st place wins have been brought back to Poplar Springs High School. With that win, the team will be traveling to Savannah, Georgia this summer to compete at the national convention.

At most schools with a program, especially a successful one, robotics has its own class period during the school day. PSHS does not have that luxury. Building a program with this kind of success does not happen overnight, with the proof in the countless weekend, holiday, and after-school hours put in by hardworking students and their dedicated sponsor.

The invaluable learning opportunities offered through programs like SeaPerch and other school-based robotics programs, are preparing PSHS students for futures in engineering, computer science, hands-on vocational programs, and more. In addition to the variety of technical and creative troubleshooting skills the students are gaining, they are learning first-hand that a willingness to listen, learn, and give it their all, is the key to success.

Support local STEM programs. They are literally raising the future.

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