2024 SeaPerch Season

The 2024 International SeaPerch Challenge is almost here!

For the event schedule, details about where to stay, volunteer and spectator information, and more, visit our 2024 International SeaPerch Challenge event page!

May 31 - June 1, 2024 | College Park, Maryland

Theme: Deep-Sea Exploration

First discovered in 1977 near the Galápagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador, hydrothermal vents are a critical area of ocean exploration. ROVs are necessary to aid researchers in exploring the harsh environments that surround hydrothermal vents where extreme temperatures and pressures, toxic chemicals, and reduced visibility are the norm. The 2024 International SeaPerch Challenge was inspired by the wealth of information that can be gathered by exploring these deep-sea geysers.

We are pleased to continue our exciting partnership with NOAA Ocean Exploration and the Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute (OECI) for the 2024 season theme of deep-sea exploration.

The below event information applies to the 2024 International SeaPerch Challenge. Please check with your local regional coordinator for event information related to your local regional competition.


The 2024 International SeaPerch Challenge Season Handbook is here!

We are thrilled to bring you an all-in-one resource that will set you up with everything you need for the SeaPerch season!

Competition Timelines

Competition Elements

Technical Design Report
Technical Design Report

Objective: Communicate your intentional design process.


Submission Format: Technical design report


Overview: Describe the intentional design process you completed for your SeaPerch ROV. This report should include all required sections in the instructions and provide judges with an understanding of your unique SeaPerch design and your team’s approach to developing this design. This report should focus on the SeaPerch ROV your team designed to compete in the 2024 SeaPerch pool courses.


Need a Starting Point?

Engineering Design Process Page

Example Technical Design Report – MS Stock Class

Example Technical Design Report – HS Stock Class

Example Technical Design Report – Open Class

Meet the Team
Meet the Team

Objective: Introduce your team


Submission Format: Digital upload


Overview: Connecting with your community is important. We want to get to know you! Reach out and share your team or school’s logo, an overview of what your team is all about, and social media information so we can share it with the SeaPerch community. This is your chance to introduce us to your team and team’s personality.

Pool Courses
Pool Courses

Objective: Demonstrate the performance of your novel ROV design.


Submission Format: No pre-event submission.

Teams will complete pool course runs on-site, in-person at the 2024 International SeaPerch Challenge.


Overview: Navigate your SeaPerch ROV through an obstacle course and a mission course including a series of tasks. Score points for time and successful task completion.


The Obstacle Course tests high-speed maneuverability and requires the SeaPerch ROV to navigate the course as quickly as possible.


The Mission Course incorporates a mission related to Deep-Sea Exploration. The Deep-Sea Exploration Mission is a simulation of the tasks and environment that an ROV might encounter while exploring the harsh environments that surround hydrothermal vents.



Pool Course Build Guide (includes Master Parts List)

Real-World Innovation Poster
Real-World Innovation Poster

International Challenge Teams:

Real-World Innovation Poster is an optional event.


Objective: Explore real-world applications for underwater ROVs.


Submission Format: Digital poster (Powerpoint Template)


Overview: Identify a real-world issue and design a SeaPerch to address the issue. Create a virtual poster to tell us all about your project. Poster submissions can include anything from a conceptual design to a full project that you completed in the real world.


Need a Starting Point?

SeaPerch in the Wild

Community and Outreach
Community and Outreach

International Challenge Teams:

Community and Outreach is an optional event. 


Objective: Give back to the community!


Submission Format:

• Written statement (with photos and videos as applicable) submitted as a one-page PDF.


Overview: It’s time to give back. Whether you volunteer your time in your community or your team finds a way to connect and offer support online, we want to hear about it. No project is too big or small!


Note: This is not a scored component but will be reviewed for special awards.

Season Resources


Team Handbook


Deep Sea Exploration Resources


Nautilus Live Recordings

  • Explore @ Home: Underwater Robots and the Engineers who Fly Them | Nautilus Live 
    • How can scientists conduct science at ocean depths where human bodies cannot go? How do the underwater robots safely use electricity underwater? What’s a pilot’s favorite part of flying a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)? Join us to learn about the robotic tools used to explore the ocean off of E/V Nautilus, led by Corps of Exploration member Megan Cook and ROV pilots and engineers Dr. Gabrielle Inglis and Jessica Sandoval. Learn how they discovered their passion for engineering, their latest projects, and where they see the future of ROV technology heading. 
  • Start doing STEM – a panel on undergraduate experiences | Nautilus Live 
    • Interested in a career in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM)? Ready to learn more about how to take an idea and interest into an actionable plan to pursue a career? Learn from OET internship alumni and recent marine science undergraduates as they share how they got interested in STEM, what they are doing to gain experience in their fields of study and learn what you can do if you are passionate about ocean science or technology! In this event, meet Oscar Estrada, Chanel Vidal, and Ashley Mickens. 

NOAA Ocean Exploration Deep Dives

Tips and Tricks for the 2024 SeaPerch Season

Create a calendar to map out the construction progress. Start early and give the team deadlines for changes to design and build. Be sure the team is aware of all deadlines and what part each has in the process.

Identify team roles for each part of the process. Have back-ups ready. Think ahead to possible conflicts and how they will be resolved.

Find family sponsors to support hosting design sessions, driving to meetings and practices, supporting travel to competition.

For the design, make sure everyone has a say but encourage research to justify selections.  Define the goals of the perch and justify design decisions based on what performance is required. Don’t over-design, keep it simple. Take some time to discuss first principles.

Build an obstacle course and the challenge course or at least sections of the course. Practice as much as possible! 

Start your design notebook from day 1 but avoid long-winded entries. Info should include design iterations and justification for those iterations and any testing to verify results. Teach writers to be succinct and organized and to record test data as soon as possible!

For competition, students can assemble a small poolside emergency triage (zip ties, electrical tape, wire cutters, scissors, extra buoyancy, rubber bands), to allow quick repairs

Emphasize the importance of each team member. Everyone wants to be the driver, but the tether operator is the coach on the pool deck.  They can ask for time checks, confirm that points were scored, remind the driver of pre-determined strategies and notify the driver if they are about to get themselves tangled.  Monitoring the tether is also important in controlling drag on the ROV.


Find Your Regional Competition Here!

Find Regional Competition Information here!