South Orangetown Central School District

On Friday, Cottage Lane Elementary School fifth graders that are part of the “Building a Remote Operated Vehicle” enrichment program tested out the underwater vehicles that they have been building over the past few months!

CLE Technology teacher Jacob Tanenbaum is a member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Teacher at Sea Program and last summer, he received training on how to create a lesson plan to help students build an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV). “I participated in an online workshop before attending an in-person workshop with the Teacher at Sea Alumni Association that focused on providing teachers with hands-on training on how to incorporate ROVs into the classroom. I was able to come up with a design for an underwater robot that would be appropriate for a fifth grader to build,” explained Tanenbaum.

Tanenbaum has been working with students to help build the robots and they had the opportunity to test out their hard work in warm water for the first time in the Nyack YMCA pool. “The kids have been learning about what ROVs are used for, what can be found in the deep ocean and they are learning the science and engineering behind the use of ROV’s. They’re learning about things like neutral buoyancy and the students have been amazing at understanding and applying these concepts,” said Tanenbaum.

While each group tested their vehicle, they had to try and grab a plastic ring from the bottom of the pool and they would have to make adjustments to their robot along the way including cutting off flotation pieces to maintain neutral buoyancy. “They’re working on engineering in real time and understanding first-hand how science and engineering come together,” noted Tanenbaum. Following their ROV trials, students had the opportunity to speak with an expert in ROVs from the University of Rhode Island during their enrichment meeting this week.

“I want to express my gratitude to the SOCES PTA for providing me funding to purchase the materials, families for being flexible and coming to the YMCA and to James Mullen, the Aquatics Director at the Nyack YMCA, for allowing us to use the pool!” said Tanenbaum.

ROV trial at YMCA