Kapiolani Community College STEM summer bridge program to host underwater robotics exhibition

Kapiʻolani Community College
Keolani Noa, 808-734-9236
David Nakamaejo, 808-734-9843
Kapiolani Community College
Posted: Jul 3, 2006

Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park will be the scene of a spectacular underwater robotics exhibition by the high school student participants of Kapiʻolani Community College‘s four-week Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Summer Bridge program. The exhibition, set for Friday, July 7, from 9 to 11 a.m., will be a showcase of the Sea Perch, an underwater robot built during the program by high school juniors and recent senior graduates.

"The Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park has been gracious in allowing us to test our Sea Perch Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in a large pool setting," said Project Coordinator John Rand. "This allows the students to come together in a group setting and compete in underwater missions."

The STEM Summer Bridge program ran for a month and featured 23 participants from 16 high schools across Oʻahu. It is designed to increase the math skills of incoming college students and give them an introduction to college. The backbone of the program is the ALEKS math training, an online instruction program designed to improve their math skills and prepare them for STEM college courses.

In building the underwater robot, the students learned how to build a propulsion system, how to develop a controller, and how to investigate weight and buoyancy.

"The Summer Bridge program allows the students the opportunity to revisit their math skills while having fun and doing exciting projects, such as building the Sea Perch and building a computer from scratch" said Rand.

With support and funding from the Pacific Alliance, a partnership between the University of Hawaiʻi and the University of Alaska, students were able to build top of the line computers from scratch. While building the computers, students received lessons in how the different components of a computer work. The students also learned how to use the AutoCAD engineering software, and met with community members to learn about the many different occupations available in the STEM field.

After building the computers, students moved on to the grand finale of the program—building the Sea Perch ROV. The Sea Perch project is done in conjunction with the UH Mānoa Sea Grant college program. For more information about the Sea Perch project or the Sea Grant program, contact Darren Okimoto at 956-3012 or okimotod@hawaii.edu, or visit the website at http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/seagrant.

The STEM Summer Bridge program is funded by a NSF/TCUP grant awarded to Kapiʻolani Community College in August 2005. The program is an important part of the grant and seeks to improve students‘ math skills, provide group working skills, introduce students to college and show them the fun they can have with science.

For more information, visit the KCC STEM website at www.hawaii.edu/kccstem or contact STEM Outreach Coordinator Keolani Noa at 734-9236 or keolani@hawaii.edu.

For more information, visit: http://www.hawaii.edu/kccstem