Students showed up early Wednesday morning to cheer on the Triton Team, which will compete Saturday and Sunday in the international SeaPerch competition in Maryland.
Members of the Danville Area High School swim team, parents, administrators and siblings of the swim team attended the send-off at the Danville Area Community Center pool where the Triton Team has practiced with the remotely-operated submersible vehicles they built.
They will compete among 80 teams at the event at the University of Maryland, said Jeanne Ladner, their coach and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teacher.
The team advanced from the regional level in March in Philadelphia.
Team members are Gavin Crumb, 15, a freshman; Jordan Brookhart, 16, a sophomore; Max Fedder, 14, a freshman; John Price, 15, a freshman; Andrew Francis, 16, a sophomore; and Brian Myers, 15, a freshman.
Ladner said teams from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Australia and Canada have entered in the past.
Last year, the Danville Middle School SeaPerch Club placed 20th among 81 teams at the international competition.
SeaPerch is named after the USS Perch, a World War II U.S. submarine severely damaged by the Japanese in 1942. The crew was captured and sent to a prisoners camp. All but six of the 54 men and five officers returned home after the war. The SeaPerch wreckage was found off the coast of Java in 2006, according to the SeaPerch website.
Ladner expects the competition to award first- through third-place trophies.
Crumb said they added floatation devices to their two crafts, one of which they use as a backup. Price will operate the unit in the obstacle event and Crumb will serve as tetherman.
In the mission part of the competition, Myers will serve as operator and Francis will do the tethering.
During the obstacle course, they must move their submersible vehicle move back and forth through hoops.
The mission part involves moving balls onto a platform and a broken robot onto a platform along with manuevering through hoops, Crumb said.
Price, Fedder, Crumb and Myers participated in the international competition before.
"It's always fun," Price said.
This is the fourth year teams from Danville have entered SeaPerch competitions.