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HCCSD advances to Regional Underwater Robotics Competition

Holmes County Consolidated School District teachers Ravi Dutt and Iftikhar Azeem sponsored the only African-American male team at the 2021 Regional Marine Advanced Technical Education (MATE) ROV Underwater Robot competition at Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Dauphin Island, Alabama.


Two teams from Holmes County Central High School and Williams-Sullivan Middle School qualified based on their outstanding robot design and their creative response.


Team #1

  • Cameron Keys - HCCSD 12th Grade 
  • Davion Powell - HCCSD 12th Grade 


Team #2

  • Wataevius Blanden - HCCSD 10th grade 
  • Le'Bandno Bridgefield - WSM - 7th grade 


This year, the competition challenged students to tackle problems that impact the entire world: plastics clogging our rivers, lakes, waterways, and oceans from the surface to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. “This is an experience I will never forget. I now have a better understanding of Oceanography and Aquatic Robtos” stated Davion Powell.


“The students who were privileged to be part of this competition had never been exposed to designing underwater robotics, so this opportunity definitely accomplished the goal of exposure outside of the state of Mississippi and offered the basics of underwater robots,” stated, Betty Bridgeford, Parent.


Holmes County Consolidated School District’s Robotics Program, “DeltaSTEM” is led by 19 passionate teachers who serve as coaches for students in grades 3-11. “We are extremely proud of all the students who participated. It has been a trying year with students in remote learning, but our students have risen to the occasion all year, and at several competitions proved they have the necessary skills to participate both on a local and national level, “ stated Ravi Dutt, Lead Robotics Coach.


“This is the way STEM should happen and how you bring students into the field with application and engagement,” stated Dr. Shimelle Mayers, Director of Math & Science. The District’s mission is to inspire and challenge students to learn and creatively apply science, technology, engineering, and math to solve real world problems. The Holmes County Consolidated School District will expand its DeltaSTEM Robotics Program to reach students from grades 3-12 for the 2021-2022 school year.