Lake area students spent a part of their summer learning something new thanks to the Camden County 4-H and the Camdenton 4-H FIRST® LASER team. Both organizations partnered to bring a new exciting summer camp to students called SeaPerch.
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 a camp 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.
Team members from the Camdenton 4-H FIRST® LASER 3284 high school team served as mentors on this project and worked with students that were in fifth and sixth grades.
Michelle Kroll from University of Extension was the group leader and was excited to introduce the program to the lake area. Students learn best by doing and during the four day process of building SeaPerch, they followed steps to completely assemble the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), test it, and then participated 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 one-day 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:
•Vehicle performance - maneuvering and recovery
•Innovative design (optional)
•Team presentations - oral presentations to judges
•Notebooks - document planning, design, construction, testing, and learning
•Team spirit and sportsmanship at the event
After an intense week of building the robots and learning about the Navy students took their completed robots to the West Lake Aquatic Center for competition. At the center they met with members of the Mid County Dive Team to set up the competition course and challenge. The competition included hanging rings underwater on a rack and navigating through an underwater obstacle course. Camdenton
Page 2 of 2 - High School LASER 3284 members ran the competition and oversaw the challenges. Several Camdenton R-III teachers and LASER adult mentors also volunteered as team leaders at the camp. Group leaders included Troy Risner, Susan Southwick, Sharyl Norris, Mary Beth Otto, Mark Jenkins, Wendy Ruble, William Hedrick and Mitch Comer.
Camdenton County 4-H and Camdenton 4-H FIRST® LASER 3284 hope to make this an annual summer camp.