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Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Andrew Kyed, Tegan Golemon and Eithan Black of North Layton Junior High drive their underwater robot in Lehi Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Elementary and middle school children competed with their underwater self-built robots through an obstacle course during the annual Utah Underwater Robotics competition hosted by BYUs Splash Lab. The competition at the Lehi Legacy Center featured about 450 students from 15 Utah schools.

LEHI — About 450 elementary and middle school children demonstrated their underwater robot engineering skills Wednesday for the annual Utah Underwater Robotics competition.

Hosted by BYU’s Splash Lab, the competition at the Lehi Legacy Center featured students from 15 Utah schools navigating self-built robots through underwater obstacle courses.

In its second year, the Utah Underwater Robotics program teaches schoolchildren valuable STEM concepts through the mentoring of BYU students.

Utah’s competition is one of the largest in the nation and feeds into the national SeaPerch program. The program was originally founded by a grant from the Office of Naval Research, while this year a group of local companies, including US synthetic, Hill Air Force Base and BYU, are providing the funding.