Forty public school teachers took part in two-day training at BIOS in late October as part of the 2017 Bermuda Union of Teachers annual professional development conference. The workshop, offered under the Mid-Atlantic Robotics IN Education (MARINE) program, introduced participants to components of the beginner Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competition, including the construction of simple circuits and soldering.
Teachers will now bring this new information to their students for the design, construction, and operation of their own, team-built ROVs, used in the annual springtime marine robotics challenge between more than a dozen Bermuda schools.
During the October workshop, participating teachers also heard a talk about marine plankton by BIOS scientist Amy Maas, then traveled on the BIOS-operated research vessel Stommel to learn more about plankton ecology and how to collect samples of these tiny, delicate organisms using a towed plankton net.
Building an ROV incorporates many foundational concepts, like buoyancy, density, and circuits, into one meaningful project, said BIOS science educator and workshop coordinator Kaitlin Noyes. “By helping educators get practical experience with the process and learn more about related research at BIOS, it will be easier for them to integrate these resources into their classrooms,” she said.