By Nawara Fattahova
KUWAIT: For the first time, Kuwait qualified for the finals of the annual International SeaPerch Challenge in Maryland, US. The Kuwaiti Team Blue Tech Youth Valley, consisting of three players: Hawraa Merza, Talal Al-Hezami and Mohammed Al-Bahar, their trainers Mohammed Al-Dafeeri and his assistant Maram Al-Salman of the Public Authority for Youth, ranked first at the regional SeaPerch challenge held last month in the UAE. They also received the Best Maneuver prize among more than 30 participating teams.
“This competition focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Naval engineering is the focus of the challenge, in addition to the participants experiencing the design and implementation of a remotely-operated robotic submarine using the basics of ship and submarine design and some physics rules to execute certain submarine missions as this year’s challenge,” Merza told Kuwait Times.
She expressed her happiness to be part of the first and only Kuwaiti team participating in this competition. “Every year this championship is held without a Kuwaiti team. I feel very proud and excited, especially as this is our first participation and we won this challenge and ranked first, in addition to winning one of the prizes,” gushed Merza.
When she participated at the Expo Science Dubai 2022, one of the activities was the underwater robotics workshop. “At this workshop they presented the SeaPerch challenge. So, I sent it to our team in Kuwait, who read all the details about this challenge. We then registered to participate. We only prepared for the championship for a week, while the other teams were preparing for months before the championship. Yet we achieved the full score in all missions in the shortest time when writing the report and giving the presentation,” Merza explained.
“After this win, our team has qualified for the International SeaPerch Challenge that will be held in June 2022 in the United States. We also qualified as the third best team in the world among over 200 other teams,” she pointed out. “Our team is planning, in cooperation with the Public Authority for Youth, to form and train new Kuwaiti teams this summer to increase our participation in international championships. We will be the first trainers of this competition in Kuwait. We will train the teams to participate regionally, then internationally,” concluded Merza.