ROV on the High Seas

Students sailing on a Young People in STEM (YPIS) adventure with Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) this summer will have access to a state-of-the-art ROV for collecting their data. On this 3-day, 2-night research-based program, students eat, sleep, and work aboard the 77′ schooner while deeply exploring the functioning and health of the Great Lakes. The ROV, acquired by ISEA last fall through a grant from the Worthington Foundation, will allow the students to see samples as they are collecting them from the lake and become more familiar with the world living under water.

High school students with a strong interest in science, technology, engineering, and math take part in this life-changing experience. Research projects are decided by the participants as are collecting and analyzing the data. Students then present their findings at the end of the trip. “The participants in the YPIS programs will be our future scientists, mathematicians, designers, and engineers.” said Tom Maynard, ISEA educator who coordinates and facilitates the Young Men in STEM programs. “Many have shared with us that their experience cemented their career choice or gave them more confidence in life.”

Living aboard the vessel adds to the adventure of the research program. In addition to using the ROV and other science equipment, students also plot a course, steer the ship, raise the sails, cook in the galley, and scrub the deck. Teamwork and leadership skills are gained as well as friendships developed.

Four Young People in STEM trips are available this summer, two for young men and two for young women. Space is limited as the ship sleeps 10 passengers. Students entering 9th grade through 2017 graduates are eligible to participate. Inland Seas’ donors subsidize the cost of each program so participants pay just $300. Registration is now open.

More information about the Young People in STEM program can be found on the ISEA website.

ISEA will also be using the ROV on the schooner Utopia this Spring. A challenge course is being designed to replicate challenges faced in industry from environmental research to oil & gas exploration. Participants will navigate the course from the deck of the ship while at Discovery Pier. The ROV program is currently available for classrooms and other groups, and plans are being developed for a public program.