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Wildwood Middle School Student Raises More than $4,000 for STEM Program

By Staff | Nov 27, 2015

Ross Elkon, seventh grade student at Wildwood Middle School, has raised more than $4,000 to support SeaPerch, an innovative underwater robotics program where students design and build underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVS).

According to project director and science teacher Denise Lykens, these funds will ensure that the SeaPerch program will continue to grow and enable more students to participate. Elkon will be recognized for his fundraising efforts on Nov. 23 at the Jefferson County Board of Education meeting.

As Elkon prepared for his bar mitzvah, a Jewish ceremony and celebration marking a young man’s progression toward adulthood, Elkon chose to raise money to support the program for his Mitzvah Project. He feels very strongly that students should have the opportunity to participate in the program, which is limited due to funding.

Elkon began raising funds by selling homemade cinnamon buns to neighbors and friends, holding neighborhood garage sales and soliciting friends and family to donate to a SeaPerch fundraising website he created. The son of Marla and Ezra Elkon of Charles Town, Ross has been involved with SeaPerch since sixth grade. The money that Elkon raised will support the participation of more than 20 students on the Sea Perch team and will allow the team to prepare for regional and national competitions.

Eklon is an honor roll student, a member of the Math Field Day Team, the Lego Robotics team, and is enrolled in a pilot computer coding class.

Developed by the Office of Naval Research, the SeaPerch Program provides students with the opportunity to learn about robotics engineering, science and mathematics (STEM) while building and underwater ROV as part of a science and engineering technology curriculum. Throughout the project, students will learn engineering concepts, problem solving, teamwork, and technical applications. Building a SeaPerch ROV teaches basic skills in ship and submarine design and encourages students to explore naval architecture and marine and ocean engineering. Students learn important engineering and design skills and are exposed to all of the exciting careers that are possible in naval architecture and naval, ocean and marine engineering.

For more information about SeaPerch in Jefferson County, contact Denise Lykens at dlykens@k12.wv.us.