The Sea Perch program teaches students about robotics.
Sotir Moliko likes to tinker. The recent Plainville High School graduate is building an underwater robot..
"The biggest challenge is finding buoyancy so the thing doesn't sink or rise at the same time, you have to keep it right in the middle," the soon-to-be CCSU freshman said.
Sea Perch, a national science competition, came to Connecticut for the first time last month.
It involves students from Plainfield to Brookfield and several towns in between.The goal is to inspire kids to get into naval military fields using engineering concepts like buoyancy and electricity in the process.
Students work in teams to construct robots.
"They have to use the same three motors, but they can design their own frame and their own concept," Plainville High Tech Ed teacher Jeff Wanner said.
Once perfected, the bots are launched on two courses: a salvage course, where the competitors have to position the robot under one of five different buckets and make it float up to the top and a tricky obstacle course where the students have to navigate a series of hoops.
It's no easy task and requires team members to work together.
"They need to communicate with each other and the teamwork on this is huge," Jeff Wanner said.
Although the competition is keen, the take away for these young engineers is more about the process than the prizes.