CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2016 DRAGON DYNAMIX TEAM!

On Saturday, April 30, 2016, the Delaware Valley Friends School SeaPerch Team, Dragon Dynamix, participated in the Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge. For the past four years, Glenn Heck, Science Teacher and SeaPerch Advisor, has been taking a team of students grades 10-12 to this annual STEM competition. This year’s event took place in the pool at Temple University, with 27 schools from throughout the region participating. We are very proud to share that the DVFS team came home with four trophies this year! They took first place for their design notebook, first place in the pool challenge, third place in the poster presentation, and in the end won the overall competition. Of all the schools competing, the Dragon Dynamix team was the *only* team to actually complete the salvage mission in the pool. The team has been invited to compete in the 2016 National SeaPerch Challenge at LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on May 20-21, 2016.

In the competition, a school’s team represents a company — for DVFS, the company is named Dragon Dynamix — that is tasked with designing an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle, or “ROV,” that can complete a number of specified tasks, or challenges, which change from year to year. The goal of the competition is to increase student interest in robotics, science, mathematics, engineering and technology and to introduce students to naval engineering. The event is structured to give students an overall experience in the engineering process. The team this year is the second group to go through the process as a class, for which Science teach Glenn Heck has developed a full year high school lab science course, with a STEM-based curriculum. The team was supported by Naval Engineering Mentor and DVFS Alumni parent, Bob Klimas, whose daughter, Miranda (’15), competed in previous years. The team also received some assistance from the Tech Department, in the form of 3D printing some materials.

The 2016 Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge consisted of several parts:

Vehicle Performance is a test of how well the students did in designing and building their ROV.
Vehicle Performance, Round 1 -- Maneuver the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) through an obstacle course. (Dragon Dynamic took First Place in heat; First Place for Vehicle Performance (Round 1 and 2 combined).)
Vehicle Performance, Round 2 -- Maneuver the ROV through a maze and retrieve five objects using an electromagnet the team built into the vehicle. (Dragon Dynamic took First Place in heat; First Place for Vehicle Performance.)

Design Notebook — The Design Notebook is a test of the students organizational and documentation capabilities. In it, students document how the team implemented the engineering process during the design, building, and testing phase of SeaPerch. The notebook also describes teamwork, lessons learned, how they overcame challenges, and overall strategy for success. (Dragon Dynamic took First Place)

Team Poster Presentation — The presentation is a test of how well the students can convey their engineering ideas and market their ROV. Each team was given 10 minutes to present its case followed by a five-minute Q&A and discussion with the judges. Each team represents a company competing to design and build a SeaPerch ROV in response to a United States Navy contract solicitation. The team needed to prove to the judges that its design is the best all-around solution for the recovery mission. (Third Place)

The fourth category, Team Spirit & Sportsmanship, is a test of the students’ capabilities to recognize and encourage better solutions and engineering.

The ROV that the DVFS team used this year was designed by Isaac Fozard (’16) and Brett Levering (’17). It was piloted by Derek Copeland (’16), with Isaac Fozard as navigator. The poster presentation was given by team members Isaac Fozard, Derek Copeland, Hannah Peacock (’16), and Avi Ferleger (’17).

The 2016 National SeaPerch Challenge takes place May 20-21, and presents a whole new challenge. It will require students to release objects and transport them in a controlled manner. The course consists of four stations in which the vehicles will have to maneuver and actuate equipment in the pool. The maximum pool depth for this event is seven feet. The DVFS team has three weeks to prepare, and has already begun redesigning their ROV, developing new modules that need to be added to complete the new challenges. A new Design Notebook and Poster Presentation will also be required.

Students on the 2016 SeaPerch team are Tom Hayes(' ), Sam Levine (' ), Isaac Fozard ('16), Hoop Christine (' ), Hannah Peacock ('16), Drew Anello ('16), Derek Copeland ('16), Brett Levering ('17), Avi Ferleger ('17), Alec Sager ('17).

Learn more about the 2016 Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge here: http://www.phillyseaperch.org/

Learn more about the 2016 National SeaPerch Challenge here: http://www.seaperch.org/index

Thank you to parents Larry Copeland, Damian Fozard, and Tom and Jill Peacock for providing the following pictures from the event:

Viewing : 2016 Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challengemore
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2016 SeaPerch National Competition
May 20-21, 2016
LSU, Baton Rouge, Louisiana


The Delaware Valley Friends School SeaPerch Team finished the year with a national competition and a local STEM honor.

On May 20th, four members of the SeaPerch team, Isaac Fozard '16, Derek Copeland '16, Hannah Peacock '16, and Hoop Christine '18, travelled with advisor, Glenn Heck, mentor, Bob Klimas, and chaperone, Steve Cooney to LSU in Baton Rouge, LA, to pit their Sea Dragon underwater ROV against 195 teams from 43 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and even South Australia. Middle School student, Louie Fozard and parents Jill Peacock and Damian & Miranda Fozard were there to support the team. Our Sea Dragon, piloted by Derek C and navigated by Isaac F., finished 30th in this year's National Challenge. As well as the competition, the trip to LSU provided opportunities for students to network with other teams. The DVFS Dragon Dynamix team became particularly close to the advisors and students from Adelaide, South Australia.


On May 25th Teacher and SeaPerch advisor Glenn Heck, and 5 members of this year's SeaPerch team were honored as outstanding STEM students by the Philadelphia chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers at a ceremony hosted at the CBS Channel 3 Studios in Center City, Philadelphia. Students attending the event included Tom Hayes '18, Sam Levine '18, Hoop Christine '18, Alex Sager '17, and Brett Levering '17. This year's team was honored as Overall Champions of the 11th Annual Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge held in late April at Temple University.

Photos from the National Competition:


Inside The Classroom

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Team Members Reflect on the Experience:

"Saturday was something special, a shining example of when the whole is more than the sum of its parts. As pilot, I felt like the entire team's effort rested on my shoulders, and I'm really glad I didn't let my team down. Glenn has been doing this for four years now, and he's really gone above and beyond. He spent his own money to get us a pool to practice in, he spends weekends and evenings working, and a few years ago we even met at his house over spring break. He and Bob are the best mentors I could have asked for. I felt pretty confident going into the competition, but only because we did so much preparation ahead of time. This is the one of the best teams I've ever led, in SeaPerch or otherwise. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and when we work together things happen. We've proved that to Philadelphia, now we just need to prove it to everyone else. Everything we've learned this year- teamwork, engineering, technical writing- all needs to come into one coherent, efficient, working, team in the next two weeks."

- Derek Copeland,
Dragon Dynamix 2016


"I am so honored to have been a part of this team. The team is by far the best group of people I have ever worked with. This experience has been inspirational and informative. I am sad to be leaving this team but I will never forget this life changing experience. The only word that can accurately describe how I felt when we won those awards is, elated."

- Hannah Peacock,
Dragon Dynamix 2016


"I never thought I’d be able to do something like this! I enjoyed the class all year, and learned so much. I feel really proud of our team’s accomplishment this year!"

- Brett Levering,
Dragon Dynamix 2016



Delaware Valley Friends School is a national leader in educating students (6th - 12th grades) with language-based learning differences and the only IMSLEC (International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council) accredited school-based program in Pennsylvania. DVFS offers a rigorous and comprehensive research-based college preparatory curriculum, expert individualized instruction,
leading-edge assistive technology, and an emphasis on self-advocacy within a nurturing and supportive community based on Quaker values.
DVFS is proud of its students in action, who are taking their skills and dedication to their community into the world in meaningful ways.


Delaware Valley Friends School
19 E. Central Avenue, Paoli, Pennsylvania 19301
Phone: 610.640.4150

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