March 19, 2019

Babcock Ranch students build, test underwater robots

By: Vicki Parsons - IT



Sometimes competition isn’t all about who wins and who loses. It’s the experience of seeing hard work come to life, and spending time with friends.That’s how the seventh-graders in science and engineering at BabcockRanch Neighborhood School explained competing with remote-operated underwater vehicles.

The students spent a month and a half constructing their robots as part of the SeaPerch ROV program, using 12volt batteries, SeaPerch motors, PVC pipe, film canisters, strip wire and everyday materials.

Lori McLain, science and engineering teacher said, “The funniest thing for me was when I said go get your film canisters … they didn’t know what a film canister was.”

Forty-four students competed, building a total of 12 underwater robots. Teams were matched up in four waves in two separate competitions, starting with an obstacle course.

Students had to navigate their robot through hoops. One student was tasked with getting the robot through the hoops, and to the other side of the pool, before passing the controller to another person on their team to bring it back through the hoops and to the finish line.

“It’s not about the competition,” saidJaylee Norris, “It’s about hanging out with your friends and learning to build something.”

She said she feels some

people are so competitive, that theydon’t take the time to really see and appreciate what they made.

McLain said it’s about introducing her students to career opportunities. The students are learning how to collaborate and work as part of a team, something they will have to continue to do in their life in school and their careers.

“A regular seventhgrader wouldn’t do this,” she added.

An underwater view of a student-made, remote-operated vehicle.

The seventh-grade students in science and engineering at Babcock Ranch Neighborhood School took part in two races: a relay-and-search and recovery. Students participated in four waves for each event. Two pilots were required: one drove out and the other pilot took control on the way back.

Seventh-grader Clayton Griffith fixes his team’s robot after the first relay. He said the propeller was too tight due to too much glue, preventing the robot from going underwater.