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2020 International SeaPerch Challenge

Though we did not have the pleasure of seeing teams conquer the 2020 International SeaPerch Challenge, we continue to be inspired by the stories of resilience and creativity we hear from our SeaPerch community. If you don't know what we're talking about, go check out SeaPerch Onshore, where students, educators, advocates and more, have shared their incredible work! 

It was sure to be an exciting year with a new theme, mission course, citizen science projects, and more. Check out the detailed pool course drawings, new engineering process guidelines, and new competition classes that were to be launched this year. 

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Mission: Waterway Cleanup

Similar to past seasons, the 2020 International SeaPerch Challenge will include two in-pool components: (1) an obstacle course and (2) a mission course. Find all the course build guides available for download on the 2020 Pool Course page. 

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Dates: May 29 - 31, 2020

Location: University of Maryland, Eppley Recreation Center, 4128 Valley Drive College Park, MD 20742

Click here to download: Prelim Schedule

FRIDAY, May 29 Team Arrival
2:00 pm - 11:59 pm Dorm Check-in -- 24 Hour Desk at Dorm
2:00 pm - 7:00 pm Team Check-in and Compliance Review
All teams should check in and complete compliance review on Friday between 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm. Please choose your appropriate check-in time when you register your team. Teams arriving late will be able to check-in for housing in their assigned dorm building. Teams missing team check-in on Friday will check in on Saturday, May 30 from 7:30 am - 8:30 am at Eppley Recereation Center.
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm Dinner for Dorm Residents

SATURDAY, May 30 Competition Day 1
6:30 am - 9:00 am Breakfast for Dorm Residents
7:30 am - 8:30 am Team Check-in and Compliance Review
8:45 am - 9:30 am Opening Ceremony
10:00 am - 5:00 pm Pool Competition -- Challenge Course
10:00 am - 5:00 pm Team Presentations
11:00 am - 4:00 pm STEM Expo and Citizen Science Activity
11:30 am - 2:00 pm Lunch for Attendees
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm Dinner for Dorm Residents
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm SeaPerch Team Social

SUNDAY, May 31 Competition Day 2
12:00 am - 5:00 pm Dorm Check-out
6:30 am - 9:00 am Breakfast for Dorm Residents
9:00 am - 2:00 pm Pool Competition -- Obstacle Course
9:00 am - 2:00 pm STEM Expo and Citizen Science Activity
11:30 am - 2:00 pm Lunch for Attendees
3:00 pm Awards Ceremony
4:00 pm Teams Depart
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm Dinner for Dorm Residents

MONDAY, June 1
6:30 am - 8:00 am Breakfast for Dorm Residents
7:00 am - 11:00 am Dorm Check-out


Volunteer & Judge Registration

Join us at the 2020 SeaPerch Challenge and volunteer your time to make this exciting event a success. Click here to find out more about the different opportunities to volunteer or judge at the 2020 International SeaPerch Challenge!

Judge Opportunities

  • Pre-Event Online Judging | April - May

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Set-up | May 28 - June 1
  • Registration/Check-in | May 29
  • Pool Activity | May 30 - 31
  • General Support | May 29 - 31
  • Compliance / Triage | May 29 - 31
  • Citizen Science / STEM Expo | May 30 - 31
  • Presentations | May 30 - 31
  • Tear Down | May 31


Spectator Registration 

Teams are limited to no more than 15 students and 4 chaperones. Any additional participants, classmates, teachers, mentors, advisors, parents or friends may register as spectators. The competition is open to the public, registering as a spectator is not required to attend the competition.


The Spectator Registration fee is $55 per person. Registering as a spectator includes access to the following:

    • Pool Observation
    • Team Pit Area
    • STEM Expo
    • Presentations
    • Lunch | Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31 lunch at the University of Maryland Diner.
    • T-shirt | Select a size when you register and pick up your official SeaPerch Challenge t-shirt upon check-in.


Off-Campus Lodging

Check back soon for more hotels with special SeaPerch discounts!

Holiday Inn Express & Suites College Park - University Area

  • Address: 9020 Baltimore Ave., College Park, MD 20740
  • Phone: (301) 441-8110
  • SeaPerch Challenge discounts:
    • Double Queen or King Room with breakfast - $119.00/night plus tax
    • Check-in Date: May 29, 2020 / Check-out Date: June 2, 2020
    • Cut-off Date: April 30, 2020 (After April 30, 2020 rooms may be booked at prevailing rate.)

Click the Website Link to book a room with the SeaPerch discount. If you have any issues, please call the hotel directly.

Additional Hotels near the University of Maryland: Click here! (These do not have any SeaPerch discounts available.)


Travel Information

For additional information related to travelling to the University of Maryland, please visit University of Maryland's Getting to Campus webpage.


  • BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI): 30mi
  • Reagan National Airport (DCA): 16mi
  • Dulles International Airport (IAD): 35mi


  • Metrorail from Washington, DC
  • MARC from Baltimore
  • Amtrak to Washington, DC or New Carrolton, MD


Parking Information

Parking at UMD is limited and all visitors must pay to park on campus ($3 per hour) unless parked in the Terrapin Trail Garage. During the weekend, parking is free in the parking lots/garages only. Metered parking is enforced seven days a week. Learn more about UMD parking at https://dots.umd.edu/visitor-parking-map.

Click HERE for an enlarged view of the event parking map to the right.UMD Parking Map_SPC20

Parking Directions: If you are driving a vehicle to campus, you will need to navigate towards the Terrapin Trail Garage and park in LOT 6, located inside the garage.  

Teams arriving on Friday May 29, may park in LOT 6 ONLY (Terrapin Trail Garage) for Team Check-in.


Technical Submissions

Engineering Process | Presentations - Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31

The Technical Design Report should provide an overview of each team's unique design, approach, and reflection on the Engineering Process. This report constitutes 1/3 of a team’s overall score. Not submitting a Technical Design Report will disqualify teams from this component of the competition and result in a significantly lower overall score.

Teams that scored in the top of their respective class during engineering process judging are invited to present during the competition. The goal of these sessions is to highlight the efforts of teams and to promote discussion surrounding the engineering process. Presentations are open to all teams, mentors and spectators to observe. 

Citizen Science Projects | Tech Talks - Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31

The four projects described on the Citizen Science page (or others that you may brainstorm) will be included as optional components for the Challenge. Although the specific tasks may look familiar to this year’s mission course, take inspiration from your local community and address a specific real-world challenge related to the topic. 

Select teams will be invited to present short tech talks introducing their citizen science concept and novel SeaPerch design for real-world applications. These talks will be structured as short sessions and are open to all teams, mentors and spectators to observe.

Presentation Schedule

Teams invited to present during the 2020 International SeaPerch Challenge will be notified on May 15, 2020.


Competition Classes

A key goal of SeaPerch is to provide meaningful opportunities for students to learn and enhance their knowledge and skills related to robotics and the engineering design process. This year includes minor updates to the historical SeaPerch classes and introduces divisions within the two stock class divisions that reflect the materials teams utilize to build their SeaPerch.

Download the Matrix linked below to view the Competition Classes Matrix and details for 2020. If you're still questioning which competition class your team falls under, take the quick Competition Class quiz! 

PDF file2020 Competition Classes and Design Rules Matrix

Please note that regional competitions may utilize a subset of these competition classes or different classes. For information on the competition classes at your regional qualifier event, contact your regional competition coordinator.



Check out the SeaPerch Challenge Forum -- it's likely that your question has an answer there. If not, post your question on the forum and we will post an answer ASAP! You need to be logged in to your SeaPerch account to post a question.

If you have any further questions, please e-mail Karen Osborn at seaperchchallenge@robonation.org.


Find out your Competition Class in seconds! 

Click here to take the Competition Class quiz

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