A focus on developing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills has gained nationwide attention in K-12 education. Its purpose is to excite and prepare students for majors and careers as scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians in order to meet the growing workforce demands of the 21st century. Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competitions are a way to engage and challenge students in these fields. Worldwide, these competitions provide a forum for exploring physical science concepts, basic engineering principles, basic circuitry, oceanography and deep sea biology, as well as showcasing student ingenuity.
WHAT IS THE ANNUAL STUDENT ROV COMPETITION?
This competition is part of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s hands-on education program, Discovery Hall Programs (DHP) and the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Regional Competition network. DHP hosts an annual teacher workshop in which teachers learn about the importance of ROVs during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response; how they are used in marine industry and exploration; how to build, wire and operate ROVs; and how to integrate what they’ve learned into their STEM education efforts. Teachers take this information and new skills back to their classrooms or student clubs, and work with students studying the connection between the deep sea and the coast, as well as how scientists use ROVs to conduct research, thereby integrating STEM activities and skills into their curricula.