What is SeaPerch ?
SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program which equips teachers and students with all needed resources to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). Starting with a box of loose parts and pieces, the students construct, assemble and test all mechanical and electronic ROV components and systems. Skills learned include reading instructions, identifying components, using tools, electronic soldering, teamwork, leadership and sportsmanship.
The SeaPerch program is a great way to get students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. SeaPerch easily aligns to the national science standards and lends itself well to interdisciplinary projects and Project Based Learning.
Beginning in the summer of 2013, APS employees and volunteers have incorporated technologies relating to Robotics, High Altitude Balloon Research, Amateur Radio, Rocketry & Computing into an integrated initiative spanning all grades, K-12.
How does SeaPerch benefit Elementary Students ?
The Elementary SeaPerch Competition is based on the SeaPerch Challenge, a national program aimed specifically at high school and advanced middle school students.
The Elementary SeaPerch Competition is tailored specifically to maximize learning and growth opportunities for younger students, while providing leadership opportunities for older middle and high school students. The obstacle course which the students “fly” their ROVs has been specifically modified to be compatible with the fine motor skills development of an elementary school student.
Lesson plans have been developed for use during the construction, testing and competition phases of the project which specifically align with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Next Gen Science Standards (NGSS).
How were teachers supported in the run-up to the event ?
On December 14, 2018 a Professional Development (PD) was held at Valley High School. Twelve teachers from nine elementary schools attended. Valley High School students and elementary teachers with previous SeaPerch experience facilitated the “hands-on” portion of the PD. Additionally, a presentation was given which covered essential SeaPerch educational elements, and examples of alignment of the project with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the new English Language Arts Curriculum Benchmark Advance.
How can someone help with SeaPerch or other STEM projects in the future ?
There are many opportunities to volunteer your time and talent to help get kids hooked on STEM. At this competition alone, there were approximately 25 adult judges and volunteers from the High Desert Amateur Radio Club, Sandia National Labs, Vanguard Technologies, Brame Technologies and other local businesses.
If you are a teacher, administrator or community volunteer looking for more information on the SeaPerch competition, please contact Alma Ripley at Ripley_A@aps.edu