CAPE CORAL, Fla. - They swim. They dive, and they can move! You're looking at photos of robots under water. Not only can they sink or float, but hese submerged machines are built by seventh graders. Only WINK News shows you the program that's inspiring a new generation of engineers.
This isn't your average school project.
You're watching underwater robots compete in an obstacle course at the Cape Coral Yacht Club.
They came to life at the hands of Oasis Middle School seventh graders, like Team Nava-Jo.
"You can go forward, backward or turn," the girls explained.
A $1,600 grant from the Office of Naval Research is funding the program. It's called the Seapearch Challenge. Teacher Lori McLain applied for the grant. "I heard about it at a conference and knew I had to bring it to Oasis Middle!" she said.
This is a first time event for Oasis Middle School and the goal is to inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers. "We're trying to refocus them and say there's a lot of other things we can be doing with our kids to encourage technology based things. Electronics. Circuitry and remote control. The things they are learning here? That's all a part of that. If we can involve kids and introduce them to something new? Then we are way ahead of the game!" said McLain.
The students worked in teams to build the underwater remotely operated vehicles. Some robots seem to have a mind of their own, but that's all part of the learning process. And they seem to be swimming in the right direction.
"I think its pretty interesting, it might be something I want to do in the future," said one student.
Oasis Middle School is the only middle school is south and southwest Florida to receive the grant funding. The school hopes to apply for it again, next year.