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NSWC Dahlgren Mentors Inspire Middle and High School ‘SeaPerch’ Teachers

By NSWC Dahlgren Corporate Communications Division | Dec. 20, 2019

KING GEORGE, Va. – Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers and volunteers gathered at the University of Mary Washington Dahlgren campus to learn more about SeaPerch from Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) scientist and engineer mentors, Nov. 8.

The training event helped middle and high school teachers as well as volunteers learn how to construct SeaPerch kits.

“Everyone had fun while learning the cool tricks of building a kit from scratch and to have a functional product by the end of the day,” said Luis Valcourt Colón, a scientist with the NSWCDD Battle Management Systems group.

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.

As a result of the workshop, more than 20 SeaPerch kits have been delivered to local schools for use in their STEM programs. “I had a great day and learned a lot to bring back to my students,” said Joseph Parker, a teacher at Orange County High School. 

In all, 13 teachers participated in the event that served as the kickoff to the 2019-2020 SeaPerch season, which focuses on waterway cleanup.

The world’s waters support an abundance of the earth’s life and serve as a vital resource for all of us. The health and safety of these waterways is threatened by waste ranging from floating garbage patches to dangerous submerged explosives. The 2020 SeaPerch Challenge mission is inspired by real-life circumstances where ROVs can assist cleanup efforts.

The Department of the Navy (DoN) recognizes that a healthy STEM workforce is critical to meeting the Navy and Marine Corps’ greatest challenges. As such, the DoN is actively engaging in efforts to improve STEM education in the United States over the next decade.

The Naval STEM Coordination Office under the leadership of the Chief of Naval Research serves as the central coordination and information resource for the Navy’s STEM efforts.