THE EARLY DAYS
Geoff and his children with a first generation camera ROV When his son Ted entered Kindergarten, Geoff realized that it was not too early to introduce Ted and his sister to the wonders of science and technology. Geoff, a chemical oceanographer, began visiting his kids’ school and was amazed by the students’ curiosity and interest in learning. He soon noticed that schools lack hands-on engineering modules that are connected to scientific themes and that the kids’ natural interest in science and technology are not met by their schools. The desire to do more prompted Goeff to bring PVC-ROVs to the classroom. all of the kids enjoyed building and flying their ROVs. Geoff’s visit to the school became a regular thing for many years.
The RETINA (Robotic Exploration Technologies IN Astrobiology) Program
Spending many months on research vessels at sea Geoff recognized the importance of communication between scientists and engineers. Deep sea research such as conducted by Geoff and the (oceanographer) community at large requires very specific technology that just isn’t available off the shelves. The scientists’ job is to communicate their needs and the engineers have to come up with solutions to make deep sea research possible. It would also be beneficial if scientists had a basic understanding of engineering principles and engineers a basic knowledge of science. In Chris Kitts (SCU) and Bill Kirkwood (MBARI) Geoff found two engineers that share his passion for science and the need to bring technology related to deep sea research to the classroom. Santa Clara University’s RETINA Program, originally designed for College students was expanded to include K – 12 th grade students.
The first “Field Trips” were brought to the International School of Monterey, CA. and to Bridport Central School in Vermont. Check out our publication on STEM outreach in the Current Magazine.
Seafloor Science & ROV Summer Camp
The first summer day camps were held at the University of Mississippi Field Station in 2014 after a outreach visit to a local school.
Since then we have held camps in the following California locations: Monterey, Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Jose, Aptos, and Gilroy. Currently we have camps for incoming 2nd – 8th graders only. In the future we would like to expand camp activities to high school students and open their eyes to a range of career possibilities all while discovering our fascinating underwater world.