Sea Perch Oceanography

BY Adam Cutler 

Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School

Project Description

My goal is to bring a level of marine engineering to my oceanography class. I plan to use the Sea Perch program to help my high school oceanography students to experience the challenge of engineering design in order to create working ROV (remotely operated vehicles).

My group will start by designing a working ROV capable of moving easily through a water column. They will then design at least one working attachment to the ROV, allowing them to perform one or more underwater tasks. These may include a capillary depth gauge, a hydrophone, a plankton tow, or a sediment sampler. They will then take their ROV’s to a local beach to test and evaluate the success of their design.

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)

I will evaluate the success of the project by the ROV and its attachment and its ability to perform the designed function. I will also gauge the success of the project through the students and their ability to follow the engineering design process. This will involve gauging their reaction to setbacks and flaws in their design and their ability to work within a group.

Benefit to the students and the school

The benefit to the students is multifaceted. They will get hands on experience in the creation of marine technologies, the proper use of tools and teamwork. They will also get experience working in the field of marine engineering, working out problems that occur in scientific instrumentation and data collection. They will be exposed to real-life application of scientific principles such as buoyancy, propulsion, gravity, and electronics.

The benefit to the school includes these reasons as well as the re-usability of the materials in this program. The nature of this program will allow many years worth of students to participate in this project.

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)

The students will start the project in early March, beginning with the design of the ROV. The build will take several weeks, including several tests, both inside and out. The final evaluation of the project will occur with a trip to a local beach mid to late April, where the ROVs will attempt to perform their designed tasks.