Students Build and Test Their Marine Robots at Underwater World

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It’s a whole ‘nother world under the sea and students from GCC are exploring it in a very different way…through marine robotics.

Guam – “I’m giving you three skills you need to learn. You need to design a robot that will allow you to do these things.”

Imagine your professor giving you these instructions to build a robot and later getting the opportunity to test it out too. Well, that’s what these group of students at the Guam Community College’s Sustainable Technologies Clinic had a chance to take part in. Twenty 15- to 17-year-olds will learn all about sustainability and how it relates to technology and the natural environment in a six-day journey.
 
GCC Instructor Anthony Sunga says, “Today is all about marine. The students built their own marine robots which they’re testing right now. What they’re going to do is go into the aquarium and run a few tasks that marine robots are used for in the modern world.”
 
We asked a couple of students how they built their marine robots.
 
Isaiah O’Mara says, “It was a lot of trial and error. Too much and then ending up with too little. So our aspect is finding the right weight to maneuver and carry stuff.”
 
Kyra Castro explains, “We had to make sure our robot was balanced and that when we put it in the water, everything was secured.”
 
At UnderWater World, Dr. Sunga will present the student “teams” with scenarios of various environmental issues or disasters, and each team will have to utilize the marine robotics they built to perform “tasks” that mitigate those issues.
 
Sunga says, “They learned the science behind it and the importance of marine sustainability and you see in their faces that they’re learning. They see that the applications they’re doing in the classroom is being used in the aquarium today.”
 
As many students told us, preparation came down to two things: trial and error. This is not the last time you’ll hear from them as their next projects will focus on solar and wind energy as part of environmental sustainability.
 
“After today, we’ll teach them about solar power, wind power, and we’ll go visit the solar plant and we’ll have them build their own battery for their cellphone so it’s all about sustainability. We’re trying to teach the younger generation that sustainability is not just about,” she says.