Guam Citizen ScientistsJune 10 2018
Student science teams in Guam will build the OpenRov 2.8s. Each team will be matched with a Marine Scientist from the University of Guam or a local Government agency. The teams will perform a six week summer monitoring session at their chosen site, and then present their data to their partner agency.
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Tomorrow morning, I will meet up with Guam Department of Fish and Wildlife for a kids' fishing derby. They asked me to bring the ROV (STILL unnamed) in a pool as a demo. The ocean is extremely shallow near shore, and there is no place to launch without banging up the coral and/or the ROV.
Last week, I did a similar event at the mall and ran the poor robot in a cooler. People still loved it. Stepping it up this week with an inflatable 8' pool from KMart. Every time I run an operation like this, I learn another thing about these cool machines. This time, I am trying to integrate a game controller, and I have it working well enough to pilot the ROV. Still no lights or lasers, looks like some coding is required for that. Check out this test from tonight! My four year old son was able to pilot it no problem, so, I can officially declare this kid-tested for tomorrow.
I founded Live Ocean in 2009 as small environmental education non-profit. Our core mission has always been to "Inspire people to protect the ocean through innovative educational programming and interactive technology". Using the OpenRov 2.8 kit for education aligns perfectly with our goals. So far, I have helped build 2 OpenRovs, and was trained as a workshop facilitator in March of 2018. I believe these little underwater robots are the key reconnecting the people of Guam to our ocean resources.
One of the issues with marine environmental education is the increased attention to liability, and the necessity of expensive safety measures when you try and run programs in or on the water. This issue is especially complex in Guam, where reef flat currents are extremely strong and beach drownings are heart-breakingly common. Simply put, there are not enough eyes on our reefs.
Additionally, STEM opportunities are underrepresented in our community, despite the hard work in recent years of many passionate people. Our plan is to run a series of build workshops in Guam, training both facilitators and students. Each student group will be matched with a local stakeholder that is interested in data the robots can gather. The students will monitor an area for six weeks, then present the data to the stakeholder.