For Immediate Release: Sept. 21, 2011
By the Office of Naval Research
ARLINGTON, Va.—The Office of Naval Research (ONR) will engage students in hands-on science education Sept. 24-26 during New England Navy Week at The Big E fair in Springfield, Mass.
ONR will display both full-size and mini versions of its SeaPerch underwater remotely operated vehicles (ROV), which teach middle and high school students about buoyancy, propulsion, electricity, circuits and switches.
The ONR-funded SeaPerch underwater robotics program demonstrates the basics of engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering focus. It is one component of Department of the Navy (DoN) science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach efforts aimed at inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.
“SeaPerch is intended to capture the imagination and ignite the interest of K-12 children in STEM careers,” said Dr. Kam Ng, ONR’s deputy director of research. “Having students build their own robotic vehicles gives them a hands-on experience and introduction to naval engineering, science and technology.”
Subject-matter experts will teach visitors how to build the ROVs from a kit comprising low-cost, easily accessible parts. In addition, there will be information on the SeaPerch robotics program and material supporting DoN’s efforts to promote STEM careers.
Aimed at growing and sustaining the naval scientific and engineering work force, DoN continues to make significant investments in STEM education and outreach. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has pledged to double funding for the U.S. naval STEM program over the next five years. The move will increase the Navy’s total dollars committed to STEM education initiatives from $54 million in fiscal year 2010 to more than $100 million by 2015.
The SeaPerch underwater robotics program is managed by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Foundation.
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About the Office of Naval Research
The Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps’ technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.