MMS Art Director Ms. Jaime Wszelaki, set a goal for MMS to be the first school in Wisconsin to develop the underwater robotics program, nationally called SeaPerch. The students immediately welcomed the program and MMS has already grown to four teams this year.
Pioneering an entire program was no small feat, but a challenge Ms. Wszelaki gladly took on. She was mentored by Officer William Walker, from the Great Lakes Naval Base, who played a vital role in training her on the engineering and construction of the SeaPerch program. Soaking up all this knowledge, bringing it back to the school, and then putting a full scale program into place was only the beginning.
Earlier this year, the four MMS SeaPerch teams headed to competition at the Great Lakes Naval base, where they would compete against hundreds of teams across the United States. Competitions have several categories, but the category that our MMS teams clearly dominated was the Engineering Notebook category. The Engineering Notebooks are used to document planning, design, construction, testing, and learning, and are judged based on accuracy, depth of knowledge, and organization. The MMS teams swept the competition bringing home 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place!
Demonstrating such success at this year’s competition and due to her outstanding leadership, Ms. Wszelaki earned the attention of her mentor, who nominated her for the Naval Air Forces' Distinguished Visitor (DV) Embark Program and, deservedly, she was accepted.
Through the Embark Program, Ms.Wszelaki, along with eight other Distinguished Visitors, boarded a C-2 Greyhound Carrier Onboard Delivery Aircraft, or COD, which took them to a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier operating at sea. Throughout their 2 day-1 night stay on the carrier, they spent their time interacting with the sailors and commanders, learning, touring and observing the full spectrum of operations. Ms. Wszelaki even had the opportunity to dine with the commanding officers!
Jaime's most significant takeaway from her once-in-a-lifetime experience, she says, was the teamwork that she observed. "I was impressed with the efficiency, respect and determination the crew had to be the best at what they do. It was very admirable to me."
Congratulations, Ms. Wszelaki, MMS is so proud to have such a passionate teacher and role model leading our children and paving the way for such innovative programs like SeaPerch!