Friday, May 27, 2022

Help Nelson 15 year olds get to the USA for a science and engineering competition


Thorben Therkleson and Caitlin Pilcher practicing on a replica of the
 obstacle course that will be used in the SeaPerch competition in the 
Washington DC next week.

Two Waimea College students Thorben Therkleson and Caitlin Pilcher won their division, for their age group, in the NZ AquaBots National Competition recently, beating 21 other NZ teams.

Both teenagers now need to travel to Washington DC to compete in the International SeaPerch Competitions on Wednesday. They have only days to gain a little more support with funding for their travels.

Thorben’s mother has set up a give-a-little page on Facebook asking the community to help with funding. There  is still funding needed for the two 15 year olds, quite a shortfall, but Thorben’s mother said “Thanks so much for all your support so far!”

The funding for the travel of the winners is usually provided by the Royal Society, but they have cancelled the funding. 

They became the third TASMAN team that has made it to the finals of NZ AquaBots Nationals.

Thorben and Caitlin have been spending a lot of time with their ROV (remotely operated vehicle) at the school pool, practicing on a replica of the obstacle course that will be used in the SeaPerch competition in Washington DC next week.

These two bright teenagers have already built an operational ROV, learnt how to use it, written technical reports and collected biological samples from the ocean in collaboration with willing scientists.

The team wish to acknowledge the help of two students 

Brooke Robinson and Izzy Lodge.

The teams name is “Narwhal" -  Their BOT (ROV) is Matariki

The impact this learning experience is having on these young adults for the future would be hard to measure, but today ROVs are operating in the harshest of environments both the deep ocean and outer space. 

ROVs have proven the tool of choice for exploring remote locations, allowing scientists to explore the deepest part of the ocean and the furthest reaches of the solar system with the least weight penalty, the most flexibility and specialisation of design, and without the need to provide for sustaining human life.

The experience these students are now having will give these young scientists the probability of breaking apart the knowledge we already know about our world and the universe.

Graeme Smith the Associate Principal of Waimea College said 

Waimea College is thrilled that these young students have an amazing result, for their enthusiasm, their effort, and for their creative ideas.”

“All the Team had a real interest in science and hoped to be involved in the science field in their future.”

“The students had told me that they were keen to do something a bit different, something new that is not part of normal school and in an area of their passion. Talking of something different: the Team's name is “Narwhal” which came from a specific card in the card game they had been playing.”

“Also, the Team have called their BOT Matariki and painted in the southern sky because they wanted it to be New Zealand based.”

“The Team would also like to acknowledge one of their other members, Izzy Lodge, who could not attend the National event.”

“Waimea College is immensely proud of our students and wish them well in the USA."

A Give-a little page (see the link below) has been set up for Thorben Therkleson and fellow classmate Caitlin Pilcher (both 15) to travel to the United States for the International SeaPerch Competition.

Here is the link to the Give-a-little page any amount helps and thank you so much for your help:

Help Nelson teens get to the USA for a science and engineering competition

QR Code for donations

The team wishes to "thank everyone for their donations."

Pigeon Post News

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