Eighth Graders Engineer Three Types of ROVs

by: By Kathryn Jeakle, Eight Grade Science Teacher
Shorecrest students in eighth grade recently invited their parents to a project presentation culminating their ROV unit. Over the course of the project, each student helped create three different types of ROVs.

The ROV project started in September 2017. During Phase 1, eighth graders researched remote operated technology (ROT) and/or remote operated vehicles (ROV) and wrote a background knowledge paper on the topic.

In Phase 2, teams of students brainstormed ways we can use remote technology to solve issues or minimize challenges we face in today's society. Once a team came up with an issue or challenge they wanted to tackle, they then designed an innovative remote operated technology or vehicle that could help solve or improve the issue or challenge of interest.

After students sketched designs and created a spec sheet with all the details regarding how their remote tool would function, they moved onto Phase 3 - the prototype building phase. Students were challenged with building a prototype of their idea using recycled materials. Teams that used solely recycled materials received extra credit.

For Phase 4, teams wrote a 2-minute sales pitch for their product in English class. In technology class students used Photoshop to create an advertisement to sell their innovative idea.

An art project kicked off phase 5. Students designed a PVC sculpture by measuring and cutting PVC pipe and adding texture with wire. Students learned how to create and follow a visual plan and had the opportunity to work with PVC cutters and wire cutters. These skills would later be necessary for the final project - an underwater PVC ROV.

After the art projects were complete, the entire eighth grade class broke into teams of 8-10 students. Each team built a complete underwater ROV - the frame, the motors, everything! Once the ROVs were built and the remote controls were tested, each team had a series of underwater challenges for their vehicle to complete. The challenges included picking up diving rings from the bottom of a pool, dropping off artificial coral polyps on an artificial reef, and completing a mock trash clean-up. The teams had 3-minute intervals to complete the challenges, and all teammates needed to pilot the ROV for some of the time allotted.

The underwater ROVs were presented at STEAMfest for the greater community to drive and explore. Eighth graders gave their final presentations of the initial innovative ROV projects - along with product pitches, advertisements, and the PVC sculptures - before an audience of parents and peers on March 14, 2018.

Watch the video here:


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Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students preschool through high school, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.