SeaPerch is an underwater robotics challenge that prepares the students to build a Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle (ROV) for submarine missions.
Students can build the ROV in a classroom or out-of-school setting with a special kit that consists of low-cost and easily accessible parts. The program follows a unique curriculum that teaches basic engineering and science concepts in a marine engineering theme. SeaPerch provides students with the opportunity to learn about robotics, engineering, science, and mathematics (STEM). Throughout the project, students will learn engineering concepts, problem-solving, teamwork, and technical applications.
Building a SeaPerch ROV teaches basic skills for ship and submarine design encouraging students to explore naval architecture and marine and marine engineering principles. Students can learn important engineering and design skills with hands-on activities. Also, they will be exposed to all the exciting careers which are involved in naval architecture, ocean, and marine engineering.
The curriculum is specially established to help the students to completely assemble the ROV, test it, and then participate in launching their vehicles.
Students are encouraged to compete in a culminating event, the SeaPerch Challenge. Events at the Challenge can include:
Winners of regional SeaPerch Challenges may be able to compete in the International SeaPerch Challenge, held each spring. A list of registered regional Challenges that are qualifiers for the National Challenge is posted on our website each fall.
Group Size and Teamwork SeaPerch works best when students are encouraged to cooperate and work together in teams. There is a great deal of material to be learned in order to complete a build. When each students choose an area to study more fully, they can share their knowledge with the team.
Any size of a group can work to build a SeaPerch, from a single student to a large group. However, the following list of recommended group sizes will maximize the SeaPerch experience and reduce the need for excessive kits while allowing each student to participate:
We recommend that each student take a particular area of engineering and apply it to their team and their SeaPerch ROV build. They can then prepare short lessons on their particular areas of expertise to share them with their teammates. The following student “specialties” are recommended:
We also recommend a certain number of adult supervisors in order to keep the build experience flowing smoothly and to prevent safety mishaps:
SeaPerch began as one project in a book entitled "How to Build an Underwater Robot," by Harry Bohm and Vickie Jensen. There were many projects in the book, and SeaPerch captured just two pages, with a parts list and instructions on how to assemble the vehicle. Years later, Professor Thomas Consi at MIT developed a curriculum around the SeaPerch as a way to grow the Ocean Engineering Program at MIT. Seeing the possibility of using SeaPerch to train teachers, MIT’s Dr. Chryss Chrystostomedes sought funding from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the MIT Sea Grant office and began to train teachers in the Boston area and beyond. Several years later, The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) had the vision to utilize its resources to manage the program and partnered with The Office of Naval Research (ONR) to take the SeaPerch Program from what was essentially a teacher-training program and develop it into a national K-12 STEM Outreach program. Through a grant from ONR, SNAME created a program that could be national in scope, including creating a kit, infrastructure, supporting materials, website, ordering and inventory mechanism, and a network of individuals to help grow the program. The efforts began to take root, the program grew to include almost all 50 states to date, and a national competition, the National SeaPerch Challenge, continues to expand yearly.
Since 2011, SeaPerch program has been managed by RoboNation (The Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Foundation - AUVSIF), and continues to expand nationally.
RoboNation was created by the AUVSI Foundation, a nonprofit, charitable 501(c)3 organization established to support the educational initiatives of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).
Most importantly, RoboNation is:
Each year, RoboNation offers a series of educational programs as well as robotics competitions that allow students to apply their STEM education outside the classroom. The experience is ideal preparation for entering the workforce, and many participating students are frequently offered coveted internship and employment opportunities while still in school. Visit www.robonation.org to learn more.