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Memorial Junior High robotics team to compete nationally

Memorial Junior High School's Gateway Technology program is growing and excelling at a phenomenal pace. For the third straight year, the program is competing in the National SeaPerch Competition, sponsored by the Navy. They will compete against teams from all over the world!

For the competition, students build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and see how far they can make it through underwater obstacle courses. They will also race to determine whose device is fastest. Students can even earn extra points for providing a notebook with team information as well as specs and the engineering process for their SeaPerch.

The students competed in the state SeaPerch competition, took first place, and qualified for nationals. The SeaPerch they built took them more than 2 weeks to complete and is 3-times faster than the first device they took to nationals.

Photos of Memorial JH SeaPerches

The Gateway Technology program at Memorial Junior High is sponsored by Dr. Abraham Kamara - a biochemist who has taught in Oklahoma for 18 years and at Memorial for 12. About 5 years ago, Dr. Kamara noticed the students' passion for robotics and technology and decided he wanted to help.

"I do this to introduce students to engineering. Someday we may have the next rocket scientist come from this school," he said.

The program has four different components: automation and robotics, computer science, design and modeling, and flight and space. Memorial Junior High's team has used these components to constantly evolve their SeaPerch. They've had so much success that Dr. Kamara received a contract from the Tulsa STEM Alliance to develop and teach other Oklahoma schools involved in the SeaPerch program how to build better machines.

The national competition is in Washington D.C. from May 30th through June 4th, and Memorial Junior High students are building and practicing after school and during lunch to prepare.

The robotics team has about 30 students and they hope to raise enough money for 10 of them to go to the competition. Memorial Junior High is working to gather funds until they have collected enough for all the students to attend, but they need some support.

"I've sent over 40 letters out this year requesting funding for this trip," Dr. Kamara said.

There will be a fundraiser at Smitty’s Garage at 7104 S. Sheridan Road in Tulsa on April 16th, 2019, from 5-8 p.m. Ten percent of the proceeds will be donated to help fund the trip.

The students and Dr. Kamara have worked incredibly hard to make it this far and are committed to going all the way!

In addition to the competition, the students are excited to fly on a plane and visit Washington D.C. for the first time. They are also looking forward to spending quality time with their teammates.

The students said they wouldn't be here without their teachers and Dr. Kamara and that they want to make them proud at nationals!

View more information on the National SeaPerch competition here. 

To donate please contact Memorial Junior High School.

Photo of Dr. Karmara with SeaPerch Students