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Just Add Water . . . New Teaching Tool Focuses on Engineering


Wisconsin Sea Grant educators have a new tool for middle-school teachers and students. All it takes is a coat hanger, water and some thought.

The Remotely Operated Vehicle Engineering Pack, or ROVe Pack for short, has students working in teams to build underwater ROVs out of hangers and figure out how to keep them underwater with the correct neutral buoyancy.

The pack is the brainchild of Lynn Kurth, a science teacher for Prairie River Middle School in Merrill, Wis., Sea Grant Education Specialist Kathy Kline and Water Librarian Anne Moser. It contains a build-your-own-ROV kit, an inflatable pool and a teacher’s guide. All teachers need to provide is water for the pool.

“What’s neat about the pack is that it focuses on the E of STEM education -- the engineering part,” said Moser. (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.) “Teachers don’t have access to a lot of engineering curricula that they can use.”

Wisconsin residents can borrow an ROVe Pack for free from the Wisconsin Water Library at UW-Madison. The pack will be delivered to a local library via the Library Delivery Network of Wisconsin. 

The ROVe Packs were created by Wisconsin Sea Grant as part of a grant from the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board. For more information, visit go.wisc.edu/ROVe.

The Aquatic Sciences Center is the administrative home of the
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute & University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute.

©2011 University of Wisconsin Board of Regents