ROVs Boldly Go Where Students Can’t Go

Underwater exploration is difficult for some obvious reasons, but it’s so important to understand marine environments. How does pollution affect marine life near the shore? What effect does temperature and salt levels have on the growth of seaweed? Does the amount of seaweed in a given area affect the biodiversity in that area? Upward Bound students have lots of questions about the water surrounding south Florida, and since they can’t really go underwater themselves, they are using remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs). Not only are they going to use ROVs to explore underwater, but these 19 students are going to build the ROVs themselves in groups, then use them in the waters around south Florida to collect data for a science project they’ve designed themselves. With ROV components and instructional materials supplied by Erica Moulton and the MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) Center, students have begun to construct some components of their ROVs, including the propellers and all the wiring for the control box. The next steps are building the structure of the ROV itself using PVC pipes and connectors of various shapes and sizes, and then the students will be ready to put the ROVs in the water to explore. Stay tuned to see what the students build and discover!

Students weave wires together

An Upward Bound mentor helps students to solder wires

Wiring the control box of the ROV

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