5th Graders Prepare for Seacoast SeaPerch Competition

Three classrooms and the gym lobby buzzed with activity as our three 5th Grade classes traveled with their team on a quest to construct the most advanced submarines possible to enter the University of New Hampshire’s SeaPerch Competition, put on by the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping Joint Hydrographic Center at the University of New Hampshire.

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. Students build the ROV from low-cost, easily accessible materials, following a curriculum that teaches basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme.

The SeaPerch Program provides students with opportunity to learn about robotics, engineering, science, and mathematics while building an underwater ROV as part of a science and engineering technology curriculum. Throughout the project, students will learn engineering concepts, problem solving, teamwork, and technical applications.

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard sent tools, materials and three experts who worked alongside our teachers and students. Additionally, eight PCA volunteers helped man stations, guiding teams through the build by cutting PVC pipe, stripping and soldering wires, and packing motors in wax to keep them dry underwater.

Three 5th Grade boys work on wire cutting in the “Motors” classroom.
Three 5th Grade girls discuss their frame construction in the “Pipecutting” classroom.

Dover Fire Department will arrive on March 16th to fill a test tank brought to us by UNH Extension. To prepare for our PCA tank day, twelve teams of fifth graders will keep track of their progress and ideas in engineering notebooks. Students will add and redesign their frames in preparation for their final test, which will measure how fast and accurately their submarines can navigate an obstacle course and accomplish a given mission, such as object retrieval and more.

Three teams from Fifth Grade will be chosen to represent our school on March 31 at the state robotics completion to be held at the UNH field house pool. This is the first year of SeaPerch ROV for PCA. 

A student looks on as a parent volunteer demonstrates how to use a tool.
Students examine the motors used to power their ROVs.