May 1, 2012

Sea Perch Institute Challenge 2012

Date: Thursday, May 3, 2012
Time: 9:45 - 2:30 pm

The MIT Sea Grant College program will host the Sea Perch Institute Challenge at MIT’s Zesiger Athletic Center pool on Thursday May 3. Nearly 100 middle and high school students will work in teams to address a complex engineering problem using remotely operated underwater vehicles they built themselves.

The Challenge Scenario
Early this morning, an offshore drilling rig leased by a local oil company experienced a sudden explosion. The rig was in the final stages of drilling an exploratory well, just 50 miles of the coastline. The full scope of the incident in currently unknown, but an oil slick has begun to appear on the surface surrounding the rig site. The source and rate of the leak is unknown, but it seems to be rapidly spreading and there is great concern that it will cause devastating effects on local industry and the environment if not addressed soon. You have been asked to assist in mitigating the disaster, as part of a science and engineering response team, using your cutting edge ROV technology.

Participating Schools
Newton North High School (new this year)
British School of Boston (new this year)
Dexter and Southfield Schools (returning)
Stoneham High School (returning)
Swampscott Middle School (returning)

The Zesiger Athletic Center is located in MIT Building West 35 at 120 Vassar Street in Cambridge, near the corner of Massachusetts Avenue.

The Sea Perch is a simple, underwater remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, made from PVC pipe and other inexpensive, easily available materials. The Sea Perch Program, created by the MIT Sea Grant College Program in 2003, trains educators across the United States and around the world to build the Sea Perch. Teachers then work with students to build their own customized Sea Perches and deploy them on research missions such as water quality testing. The hands-on Sea Perch experience is a gateway to further study and careers in robotics, engineering, marine sciences and more. Sea Perch been implemented by over 300 teachers in 16 US states and internationally.

The Sea Perch Institute (SPI) is a multi-year program that works with veteran Sea Perch schools to build upon the basic Sea Perch course with a more advanced and multidisciplinary curriculum. To be selected for the program, schools are required to demonstrate support from school administration and the involvement of multiple teachers and classrooms.


Adjustments to a Sea Perch used at the 2011 Sea Perch Institute Challenge.

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