For the second consecutive year, the Cape May County 4-H Youth Development Program fielded a rookie team to the Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge and walked away with top awards. The Cyber Explorers 4-H Club high school team, comprising David Heacock, Nate Hoffman and Ben and Joe Johnson captured the award for overall winner in the high school division. Avid Star Wars fans, the team of four constructed an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) they dubbed “The Depth Star,” to compete in the annual challenge held at Drexel University. “The force was with them,” joked Cape May County 4-H Agent, Julie Karavan.
The high school team also received second place for poster presentation, third place for pool performance and an honorable mention for their engineering design notebook. The team’s impressive performance marks the first time in the competition’s 8-year history that the award for overall champion and design process was awarded to the same team. “These kids own this honor,” said Karavan. “These boys stepped up, persevered and achieved.”
The Cyber Explorers fielded an expanded Middle School team including returning members Solomon Griffith and Luke Karavan. Griffith and Karavan were joined by new members Spencer Hoffman, Joshua Zozzarro, Josiah Zozzarro, Kaylee Todd, Johnathan Todd and the club’s young intern Caleb Todd. The Middle School team received a third place award for their engineering design notebook and an honorable mention for their poster presentation.
Cape May County 4-H Agent Julie Karavan founded the CyberExplorers 4-H Club in 2010. Now a member of the Rutgers faculty, Karavan hopes to develop additional marine science and technology programs in Cape May.
In partnership with Rutgers Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences and the University of Delaware, Cape May County 4-H is offering an Aquatic Robotics day camp for 6-8 grade students at the Nature Center of Cape May. The camp will be held August 5-9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Registration is $300, with a $50 discount for registered 4-H members and members of NJ Audubon/Nature Center of Cape May. The camp will include engineering challenges and exploration of marine technology used to collect data.
For more information about Cape May County 4-H programs, call 609-465-5115, ext. 605, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.