Team GTK Places 6th at International Competition

Team GTK Places 6th at International Competition
Posted on 06/24/2024

     Team Good Tasting Kelp, also known as Team GTK from Parkview School's Aquatic Robotics Club earned sixth place out of 71 teams at the 2024 International SeaPerch Competition at the University of Maryland on May 31 and June 1, 2024.

     The five-member team made up of Johan Covarrubias, Joshua Jimenez, David Andrade, Buoncent Priestley and Anthony Ramires excelled in representing Parkview School, the Mountain View School District, the City of El Monte, Los Angeles County and the state of California at the competition. Team GTK showed great skills and expertise in STEM education, as well as teamwork and innovation in the competition as they competed against teams from New Zealand, China, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Puerto Rico, and individual U.S. States. This is the second year in a row a team from Parkview School qualified to compete in the International SeaPerch Competition, last year earning 20th place.

     “Only 5% of the top teams in the world are invited to go to the international competition and compete,” said Herman Ruvalcaba, Parkview teacher and Aquatic Robotics Coach.  “Team GTK worked extremely hard this year and overcame many obstacles and through many iterations of their SeaPerch underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) achieved great success at each competition.  They did an exceptional job working as a team and placing 6th overall in the world!”

      Team GTK had a fantastic time at the international competition, interacting with student teams from all over the world and networking with professionals in science, engineering math and technology. 

     Along with their stellar performance at the International Competition, Team GTK also had a great showing at the Los Angeles Regional SeaPerch Competition in February, earning three 1st place trophies at the competition including 1st Place Obstacle Course, 1st Place Mission Course and Overall 1st Place Middle School. Team GTK and two other teams from Parkview’s club also excelled at the Inland Empire Regional Competition at UC Riverside in March, coming away with six trophies including 1st Place in the Obstacle Course and Parkview swept the Mission Course category, taking 1st through 3rd place. They also took 1st and 3rd place in the Overall Winner category.

     After the two-day international competition, the students enjoyed a few days exploring the east coast for a study trip, taking in historical monuments and museums in Washington DC, Virginia and Philadelphia.

    “It was great for our students to experience first-hand historical places around Washington DC like the White House, the Washington Monument, and Vietnam Memorial just to name a few,” said Ruvalcaba.  “They also were able to visit Mt. Vernon and historical sites in Philadelphia which included the Liberty Bell.  Overall, the students had an exceptional time competing at the SeaPerch International Competition and being able to visit sites that they read about in history books.  It was a fantastic life experience for the five GTK team members.”

     “We are extremely proud of the Aquatic Robotics students and their coaches, Arlene LeGaspe and Herman Ruvlacaba along with apprentice coaches, Jose Davila and Olga Gallegos,” said Dr. Raymond Andry, Superintendent. “They worked hard all year perfecting their skills in robotics and coding and excelled at each competition. They did exceptionally well at the International Competition, making a name for their school, our District and El Monte.”

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