Did You Know?

  • For every undergraduate degree awarded in the United States today, China graduates 100.
  • The United States graduates approximately 70,000 engineers yearly, but India graduates 350,000. China graduates 900,000.
  • The United States has fallen from third in total number of engineering graduates to seventeenth in the world.

How Can It Help?

  • The Office of Naval Research (ONR) funds various K-12 student outreach initiatives. Programs such as SeaPerch use interesting and innovative hands-on projects to entice more students to choose science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM) programs in college.

How Can You Help?

  • Mentor in a classroom; engineers of all types can get involved by volunteering a small amount of time to mentor a specific class using SeaPerch in their local area
  • Be a judge on competition day
  • Help assemble the kit components

SeaPerch is a collaborative effort between the Office of Naval Research and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. The SeaPerch Program, designed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, teaches underwater robotics to middle and high school students through the hands-on activity of building their own robots.

SeaPerch provides students with the opportunity to learn about robotics, engineering, science and mathematics while building an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) as part of a science and engineering curriculum. Throughout the project, students learn engineering concepts, problem-solving techniques, teamwork and technical applications, all culminating in an end-of-the-term design competition. This program teaches students how to build an underwater robot, build a propulsion system, develop a controller, and investigate weight and buoyancy.

With a marine engineering theme, this project teaches basic skills in ship and submarine design and encourages students to explore naval architecture and marine and ocean engineering concepts independently. The curriculum also includes discussion of potential careers in the STEM field, as well as other related fields of study.

The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers has received a grant from the Office of Naval Research to coordinate and manage the SeaPerch project. Initially, the project is focused in the Washington, D.C., metro area, with the goal of expanding into a national program within the next five years.

Point of Contact

Kelly Cooper

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