SeaPerch: a unique teaching tool for Alaska's educators
Recognized statewide for its collaborative, hands-on inquiry-driven learning experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), JEDC/STEM AK conducts professional development workshops to prepare teachers in the construction and use of SeaPerch Underwater Remote Operated Vehicles in their classrooms. SeaPerch introduces students in grades 4-12 to the wonders of underwater robotics by building and operating real ROV's. To date, STEM AK has trained more than 150 teachers statewide and has supplied over 1,600 classroom kits to students.
SeaPerch Teacher Professional Development Workshops
SeaPerch Teacher Professional Development workshops are an opportunity for teachers to learn how to build a SeaPerch Remote Controlled Vehicle (ROV) and the underlying science and engineering concepts, as well as to network with like-minded peers who are interested in bringing science and technology concepts to the classroom using real-world, hands-on examples. Workshops are open to teachers in 4th-12th grades, as well as home school educators and leaders from youth organizations like Scouting, 4-H, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
STEM AK staff can hold workshops across the state of Alaska. Information on workshop fees can be obtained by contacting STEM AK.
The daily schedule for the workshops can be found here.
For more information about SeaPerch workshops or to arrange for or inquire about a workshop in your area, contact Becca Soza at 907-523-2334 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Purchasing SeaPerch ROV Classroom Build Kits
STEM AK is no longer providing subsidized kits to AK classrooms due to budgetary considerations. Kits may be ordered from the national SeaPerch organization here. STEM AK will continue to provide technical support and advice on classroom curriculum, as well as training for the SeaPerch build.
How Many Kits Should I Order?
Ideally, it would be great for each student to have their own kit to build and take home. Less than ideal, but still preferable, would be to have a kit for two students to ensure that each student enjoys the full engineering experience the SeaPerch build has to offer. But given the reality of the cost of the kits this year, a kit for every two students may not be possible. Here is a possible alternative:
Order a kit for a group of six students. As you know, students have different strengths- some may be good at electronics, some at cutting and assembly of the frame, and some at waterproofing the motors. Pair the students off and give each pair a portion of the build. One pair does frame assembly, one pair does thruster preparation, and one pair works on the control box. The pairs can be working simultaneously and they all come together at the end for final assembly and ballasting/testing. Alternatively, spread the build over a period of time with one pair working on the build, and have the other two pairs working on some aspect of science and engineering related to ROV's in the real world. Here are some examples of supporting concurrent activities.
- Use of ROV's for exploring, search and recovery, capping oil wells, ship hull inspections, scientific research.
- Different designs of ROV's
- Autonomous Underwater Vehicles and Underwater Gliders
- ROV's in the news
- ROV project presentations
- The science of the centers of gravity and buoyancy
- ROV design modifications
- ROV sensor platforms
- Explore Careers in Marine Architecture and Ocean Engineering
What do I do with my ROV's Now? The kids do not want them.
So you have spent all that money and time on getting your students to build their ROVs. Hopefully, they had fun and learned along the way, but now they don't seem to have any interest in them. Also, you do not want to have these just collecting dust in some garage. Afetr all, these are valuable robots! Here are three suggestions:
Take them apart and use them again for your SeaPerch program next year. You may need to order a few replacement parts from STEMAK, but that should not be a problem. The downside to this option is that next years' students will miss out on some of the fundaementals of building the ROVs, like measuring and cutting the PVC, soldering, and waterproofing the motors.
Donate the ROVs. Maybe your school has an ocean sciences class, or some other science/technology class that would find them useful. Donate some to Boy/Girl Scouts, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, 4-H: all organizations with small budgets looking for new and exciting things for their members.
Take them apart, throw all the pieces in a box, and start a classroom, after school, or summer activity called Super SeaPerch. Let the kids' imaginations really run wild as they design some out-of-the-box underwater ROVs.
SeaPerch Documents and Resources
- Build Tool Kit
- SeaPerch ROV Construction Manual v.2012-01AK, Teachers Guide
- SeaPerch ROV Construction Manual v.2012-01AK, Student Guide
- Control Box Modification 2012
- SeaPerch Readings and Resources
- An ROV Passenger
- How to Solder Like a Pro
- Gravity, Buoyancy, and the Stability of a Floating Object
- LED Circuits and Headlights for the SeaPerch ROV