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Science - Technology - Engineering - Math

What is STEM?

 STEM is a 7th grade class at Harrington Middle School. The focus of our STEM class is ocean exploration. The students learn why and how our oceans are explored and work in teams to build their own underwater robots called ROVs.

ROV - Remotely Operated Vehicle. An ROV is a type of submersible used for ocean exploration. Scientists also use AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) and HOVs (Human Occupied Vehicles) to explore the deep. For a few details about submersibles, visit
Woods Hole Dive and Discover webpage.

SeaPerch Modifications for Biological Mission: Collect Crabs

Our STEM ROV teams are challenged with a biological mission. They must modify their SeaPerch ROVs to collect crabs. Click on the team links on the left to see their creativity and to see who had great success in the pool!

Oil Spill Challenge

Which ROV teams will be able to cap the leaky oil well to stop the spill? This ROV mission simulates the 2010 BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The students design and build ROVs specifically for this challenge. Click on the team links on the left side of the page to see the top teams and their ROVs. 
To learn about the Deepwater Horizon spill and its impacts, read the publications created by the Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant program linked here.

Ocean Exploration LIVE!

Using telepresence technology, we can track ocean explorations live online and even interact with the scientists onboard the research vessels. NOAA's ship the Okeanus Explorer and Dr. Robert Ballard's E/V Nautilus, both provide live feed from their ROV cameras while deep down in the ocean. You can also follow the explorations on the University of Rhode Island's Inner Space Center website. See if the ships are on a mission today!

Okeanus Explorer          Nautilus          Inner Space Center          Woods Hole


The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, or MBARI for short, uses several ROVs and AUVs for ocean research. MBARI posts video clips from their ocean expeditions on their YouTube channel. To see exactly what the MBARI ROV pilots are seeing, tune into their channel.
Also check out MBARI's website to find out about their ships, ROVs, expeditions, research, and more.
Where are their ships today?

styrofoam cups go deep on an ROV

Styrofoam cups, made of tiny polystyrene beads and over 90% air, will shrink under pressure. We tested this by sending stryofoam cups out to MBARI's Chief ROV Pilot Knute Brekke. He sent the sups down 4,000 meters on an ROV named Doc Ricketts. This is what happened to our cups at that depth and pressure.
4,000 meters = 13,123 feet = 2.48 miles

PSI: 13,123 feet x .445 = 5,840 psi

Smithsonian's Ocean Portal

Explore the Smithsonian's Ocean Portal anytime from anywhere! Some of my favorites are linked below.
Find your blue!

Scientists Discuss their Submersible Experience

Deep Ocean Explorers

Exploring Ocean Life with an Underwater Vehicle (AUV)

Sea Creatures from the Deep

Ocean Portal Video Media Gallery

NOAA's Ocean Today

Check out NOAA's video clip about the ROV/AUV hybrid vehicle called Nereus.
Video title: "Ocean as a Lab: ROVs"
Then click on the link below to read about the fate of the Nereus while diving
the Kermadec Trench off the coast of New Zealand.
Take the time to watch some of the other video clips on the Ocean Today website.
Watch. Explore. Discover.

Contact Information

Ms. Maureen Barrett
7th Grade STEM Teacher
Harrington Middle School
514 Mt. Laurel Rd.
Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054
856-234-1610 Ext. 2704