Students: Jessica Lotz, Russ Higley
Mentor: Vanessa Hunt
The Highline Marine Science and Technology Center (MaST) is the marine biology and aquarium facility of Highline College in Des Moines, Washington, located on the south-central Puget Sound. Dedicated to expanding knowledge about Puget Sound, a central mission of the MaST Center is fostering a culture of marine stewardship by engaging the community through interactive learning, personal relations and exploration. The development of program curriculum designed around Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) targeted at elementary and middle school students, summer camp students, and aquarium guests exemplifies these efforts. The MaST Center has been hosting informal educational programs linked to National Science Standards and Ocean Literacy Principals since 2008. ROV technology has become more popular due to its science and engineering principals that school aged children can learn. Due to this high demand for hands-on education featuring ROVs, the MaST Education staff has designed curriculum for an after school elementary school club, a three hour on-site middle school program, a week long summer camp program, and public involvement during open aquarium hours. The overarching objective of these programs is to have students gain experience designing and assembling their own ROVs, students, aquarium volunteers, and members of the public have the opportunity to use a high-tech ROV to explore the underwater habitats of Redondo Beach, WA with video streaming capabilities. This poster presentation details how a small marine facility engages school students and the public about ROV technology and ocean exploration. We also discuss the successes of our students and their completed projects.