Yesterday I was fortunate to attend SeaPerch Training at the University of Mary Washington Dahlgren Campus. SeaPerch is a program from the Office of Naval Research designed to get students interested in STEM. Students build a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) that works underwater to complete challenges. See the video below for more information on the program.
The Naval Surface Warfare Center-Dahlgren Division received grant money to make this program possible for area school divisions. The teachers that signed up received training on building a seaperch, will receive kits and bags of tools for their students, opportunities to connect with engineers to help in the classroom, support for implementing the project with their students, and providing a regional competition to potentially qualify for nationals.
“Building a SeaPerch ROV teaches basic skills in ship and submarine design and encourages students to explore naval architecture and marine and ocean engineering principles. It also teaches basic science and engineering concepts and tool safety and technical procedures. Students learn important engineering and design skills and are exposed to all the exciting careers that are possible in naval architecture and naval, ocean, and marine engineering.”
– from seaperch.org
There were many steps and skills needed to complete the build. You had to measure and cut PVC pipe, drill holes in PVC pipe, waterproof your motors with electrical tape and wax, build your propellers, strip electrical wire, solder electrical circuit board components, etc.
The SeaPerch website has quite a few resources to help with getting started, online training (manuals, photos, videos), additional lesson plans to extend the learning, and information on competitions.
If you are interested in doing the SeaPerch project at your school, check out this page to apply for grants to get 5 Kits and 1 toolkit (or you can purchase if you have the funds available)!
I’m looking forward to working on this project with my 5th graders next year!