SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in an in-school or out-of-school setting. Students build the ROV from a kit comprised of low-cost, easily accessible parts, following a curriculum that teaches basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme. The SeaPerch Program provides students with the opportunity to learn about robotics, engineering, science, and mathematics (STEM) while building an underwater ROV as part of a science and engineering technology curriculum. Throughout the project, students will learn engineering concepts, problem solving, teamwork, and technical applications.
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.
Have you ever wondered where the name “SeaPerch” came from? We asked the inventor of the original SeaPerch, Mr. Harry Bohm, and he shared the story with us. Mr. Bohm explains that the name SeaPerch came from the USS Perch, a highly decorated World War II U.S. submarine.
USS Perch was one of a new breed of American submarines and was the first to incorporate an early form of air conditioning. She was launched May 9, 1936 by the Electric Boat Company in Groton, CT and was scuttled by her crew in the Java Sea on March 3, 1942 after being severely damaged during a Japanese depth charge attack two days earlier. The crew was captured and sent to a Japanese prisoner of war camp; all but six of the 54 men and five officers onboard returned home after the war.
Her wreckage was discovered in November 2006 by an international team of divers off the coast of Java and was the object of archeological diver exploration.
Students learn best by doing, and during the process of building SeaPerch, they follow steps to completely assemble the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), test it, and then participate in launching their vehicles.
After the SeaPerch robot is constructed, students are encouraged to test their vehicles, deploy them on missions, and compete in a culminating event, the SeaPerch Challenge - a district-wide one-day design competition, to take what they have learned to the next level. The Challenge fosters an end goal, rewards sportsmanship, spirit and presentation skills, as well as mastery of the concepts. Events at the Challenge can include:
Winners of local or regional Challenges can compete in the National SeaPerch Challenge, held each Spring.
One of the most important aspects of SeaPerch, and one that differentiates it from similar programs, is that it includes training for teachers. The two methods of training are online video training modules or on-site training. The on-site training is offered in several locations at set times throughout the year, and if the teacher has travel funds available for hotel, transportation and travel expenses, and can travel to the site, the training on-site is at no charge for the 1 or 1.5 day training. Continuing education and/or professional development credits may be offered, as educators are often required to attend workshops throughout the year.
The SeaPerch curriculum has been designed to meet many learning standards and outcomes. With one project, schools are able to teach many of the concepts required for their grade level using a fun, hands-on activity for students. Some of the concepts the students learn during the build include:
Meets Many Learning Standards and Outcomes: The SeaPerch curriculum has been designed to meet many learning standards and outcomes.
Supports Diversity: The program focuses on presenting the possibilities of technical careers to minorities, girls, and underrepresented populations.
Low Cost Per Student: The price per kit is low. Seed funding or subsidies may be available to help your program get started.
Web Resources & Community: The SeaPerch website provides resources, tools, information, and a community.