About Us

About

SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that equips students, educators, and parents with the resources they need to build an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in an in- or out-of-school setting.

SeaPerch aims to reduce traditional barriers to participation in robotics programs and promotes opportunities to engage students and educators in inquiry-based learning with real-world applications. As an educational program, SeaPerch introduces students to basic engineering, design, and science concepts. As a fun hands-on project, SeaPerch engages students and fosters key 21st century skills including critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.

SeaPerch Challenge

The annual International SeaPerch Challenge is an invitation-only event open to teams that excel at registered regional competitions and earn a slot to compete in the season’s culminating event.

On land, teams show off their engineering skills through technical papers and presentations. In the pool, they navigate their SeaPerch through a series of obstacles inspired by the real world that test maneuverability, control, and utility. Each season has a new theme and a new set of competition tasks, challenging teams to expand on their original vehicle design.

History

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, the SeaPerch program has been managed by RoboNation (The Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Foundation - AUVSIF), and continues to expand nationally.

RoboNation is:

  • A robotics community.
  • Built by the next generation of builders, creators, engineers.
  • Designed to reach all levels of robotics enthusiasts.
  • The premier source of robotics info from videos to hands-on kits, events and competitions.

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:

  • A place for beginners and experts alike to interact with each other and create an environment that promotes engagement and excitement for robotics.

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.

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