Wednesday, December 11, 2013

For Immediate Release

Student/Teacher Teams Share SeaPerch Experience

This past November MITS brought our popular Sea Perch program to a new level of innovation and collaboration. The November 7th and 8th workshop, held at theDSCN1681 South Shore Natural History Museum and the South Shore YMCA, invited teachers to include 2 of their students in the workshop experience, creating a student/teacher SeaPerch leadership team for their schools. Each school team spent 2 days building and testing the SeaPerch underwater robotic model to take back to their school. SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in an in-school or out-of-school setting. Building a SeaPerch ROV teaches basic skills in ship and submarine design and encourages students to explore naval architecture and marine and ocean engineering principles.  The program is a perfect fit for schools to introduce an exciting STEM component to their technology and science curriculum or as an enrichment after school opportunity for students because it offers learners opportunities to explore science and engineering skills at their own pace in a less structured environment.

DSCN1680A total of 29 formal and informal educators and students participated in the workshop. After two full days of sawing, screwing, drilling and soldering, 18 Sea Perch ROVs were pool tested at the South Shore YMCA and found to be sea worthy and ready for action. It was truly a rewarding experience to see both teachers and students find success through working and learning together on a level playing field.The workshop also built upon the expanding partnership between MITS and MIT SeaGrant. Kathryn Shroyer, engineering educator with MIT Sea Grant, was on hand for the workshop to offer technical support throughout the two days. Kathryn’s job at MIT involves leading work on their Sea Perch outreach programs and their Sea Perch summer high school programming.  Kathryn is well versed in how to build a SeaPerch so having her assistance and expertise was definitely an asset to this workshop. Kathryn has been developing engineering curriculum materials to support student understanding of the engineering design process and  principals used to build and hack their model ROVs to perform specific tasks as well as scientific concepts such as buoyancy.  Throughout the two-day workshop Kathryn and MITS Education Specialist, Tim LaVallee worked side by side instructing and providing technical support to all participants.

Additional SeaPerch workshops for students and teachers will be offered during the winter and spring in different regions of Massachusetts.  Visit for information on upcoming workshops.

The Museum Institute for Teaching Science specializes in providing hands-on, minds-on, inquiry-based STEM professional development for formal and informal educators.  For more information, visit or call 617-328-1515