SeaPerch is a program sponsored by the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) to teach elementary, middle and high school students about engineering and marine design. In the program, students build a simple Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) that functions underwater. The robots are made largely out of PVC pipe and can have sensor packages, actuators (to retrieve items that have been placed underwater) and cameras.
The program aims to teach students about buoyancy, marine design, propulsion, ergonomics, depth measurement, soldering and the basic physics of motion.
The overriding goal is to create more engineers. By providing a hands-on opportunity to learn about underwater robotic design, the ONR hopes to create a new crop of engineers. Around 100 teams have formed a SeaPerch team and the 2014 National Challenge was recently held at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Click here for more information on SeaPerch.