Parkview Students Explore Underwater Robotics

Parkview Students Explore Underwater Robotics
Posted on 03/23/2022

     Students in Parkview School’s after school SeaPerch program showcased their underwater robotics skills during a two-day Team Competition with teams from South El Monte High School.

     Teachers, Herman Ruvalcaba and Arlene LeGaspe lead Parkview’s SeaPerch program which meets twice a week after school. The innovative underwater robotics program provides students the opportunity to learn about robotics, engineering, science, and mathematics (STEM) while building an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), following a curriculum that teaches basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme.

     The seventh and eighth graders began working on their ROVs in October, studying STEM concepts like buoyancy, propulsion, forces, density, electrical principles and much more. They also learned how to use different tools and how to solder while building their SeaPerch ROVs out of PVC pipe. Once their ROVs were completed they practiced those STEM concepts and skills in the pools at South El Monte High.

     For the Team Competition, each team had 10 minutes to maneuver their ROVs through an underwater obstacle course and complete challenges, scoring points for completion of tasks.

Ruvalcaba and LeGaspe have provided the SeaPerch experience to Mountain View School District students since 2014. The program is also thriving at South El Monte High School and some of MVSD’s SeaPerch participants continue in the program once moving on to high school.

     “I began my involvement in SeaPerch in 7th grade at Kranz School,” said Natalie, a 10th grader at South El Monte High. “It’s a great program and really fun and challenging.”

     Ryan Rodriguez, a 7th grader at Parkview has enjoyed being part of the after-school program.

     “SeaPerch is awesome! We get to build our own underwater vehicles and everything is hands-on so it’s really cool. Besides the robotics, coding and engineering it takes to build our ROVs we also learn a lot about communication and teamwork. I definitely hope to continue participating in 8th grade and in high school,” he said.

     According to LeGaspe, SeaPerch is a great way to introduce students to maritime, robotics and STEM careers.

     “Our students put tremendous effort into the program and building their ROVs,” said LeGaspe. “They have gained knowledge in engineering, science concepts and marine technology and we are very proud of their dedication and teamwork.”

     “This program is very good for the kids,” said Valerie Rodriguez, parent. “It provides great creative experiences and my son really enjoys participating.”

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