Students build remote operated vehicle

SARA BERRES / Press Gazette
Published: Monday, March 4, 2013 at 05:17 PM.

Random items scatter the outdoor swimming pool at Santa Rosa Christian School, including a garbage can, hula hoop, rings and fish pictures.

The pool has transformed into a test lab for a group of students that participating in a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) competition this weekend at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama.

Santa Rosa Christian School competed against five other schools: Pine Forest High School in Pensacola, Apopka High School in Apopka, Lake Weir High School in Ocala, West Florida High School in Pensacola and Rickards High School in Tallahassee.

A group of approximately eight students at Santa Rosa Christian spent the last six months designing and building the vehicle, which will be responsible for completing missions similar to those done in exploration in the marine industry.

Physics teachers Adam Watt and John Gambold took five of the students: Joel Simmons, Will Blankenship, Hunter McKinnon, Chase Askins and Devin Zwolski, on Friday to the Sea Lab and will return Sunday.

The competition was funded by a grant from BP/ The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative and is the result of a teacher workshop conducted at the Sea Lab in July. At the workshop, teachers, including Watt and Gambold, learned how ROVs were used during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and how they are used to unveil more of the ocean's secrets.

After the workshop, Watt and Gambold returned to Milton with information about the competition and a few items to use for the ROV - such as three motors, propellers and a stipend to purchase a camera - but they were not allowed to help students develop the ROV.

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