Albuquerque elementary students build aquatic robots

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Their teachers said this type of competition is a perfect way to show off the skills they’ve learned in the classroom.

“They have built an underwater robot, and built it throughout the year, aligning it with common core standards,” said Alma Ripley, the assistant principal at Carlos Rey Elementary.

Fourth and fifth graders from Susie Rayos Marmom and Carlos Rey Elementary Schools got a chance to show off their engineering skills today at the SeaPearch Aquatic Robot Competition.

“Today’s the culminating event for them, they get to compete. They also get to enjoy the competition of what they learned building the SeaPerch,” said Joe Martinez, a teacher at Carlos Rey Elementary.

Tuesday’s competition included a variety of different events to really put the robots to the test in the West Mesa Pool.

“The team of four or five kids, have to maneuver their RV through four hoops underwater and maneuver it back again,” said Ripley. “Another event, they’re going to be drag racing at the other end of the pool against another ROV.”

Teachers said competitions like this allow students to better understand the things they’re learning in the classroom when they can see it work in real life.

“To apply the mathematics that they learn in a real world situation where accuracy counts, and it’s just a lot of fun for them,” said Martinez.

“These kids today, I’m excited, they’re all hooked. They’re excited, and I have no doubt that when they go home today they’re going to follow a STEM track,” said Ripley.

Albuquerque Public Schools believes it’s the only school district in the country that hosted a SeaPerch competition for elementary students. SeaPearch is a tournament for high school students around the country.

The first place winners were a team from Susie Reyos Marmon, while second and third went to teams at Carlos Rey. The teams will not be going to the national competition. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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