Middle school students have spent the last several weeks in science studying buoyancy, density, Archimedes’ Principle, pressure, and boat design. During a Fall visit to the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, students watched real footage from some of their Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), which are used to explore deeper, unexplored areas that are impractical to use with conventional diving gear. Drawing from this experience, students began working in teams to build their own ROVs through an underwater robotics program called SeaPerch.
Last week, students spent two days culminating their study by testing their ROVs at the URI lap pool. For this unit wrap-up, students simulated a “challenge mission” and acted as scientists who had been selected by NOAA and tasked with collecting coral samples for analysis. They took turns operating their vehicles to collect as many rings, rods, and cubes as possible. Each represented coral and was worth varying points. It was a memorable learning experience for the students and another example of how Quest students are able to uniquely bring their learning to life.