LYNN — The Boy’s and Girl’s Club swimming pool was the temporary harbor for a fleet of homemade boats on Thursday.
Crafted by students from a marine biology class at Fecteau-Leary Junior/Senior High School, the wildly colored ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) set sail as a group of anxious students hoped their inventions wouldn’t sink.
“Unfortunately, it’s stuck at the bottom of the pool because the floaties fell off it,” said Marissa Devine, 16, about her green and pink craft. “But I still think it was a fun project because we built it from scratch and connected the wires and the remote to get it moving.”
The three-week project was possible thanks to a $3,000 grant from SeaPerch, an underwater robotics program that equips schools with the cash to build underwater ROVs. Students built them from a kit comprised of low-cost, easily accessible parts, following a curriculum that teaches basic marine engineering and science concepts.
“Our lesson was how to explore the depths of the ocean with an ROV,” said Joseph Skahan, the science teacher who coordinated the effort. “We started off with an introduction to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).” Step-by-step, the kids did the math, cut the materials, and completed wiring, soldering and electronics, he said.
Frony Pojoy, 16, described his invention as a mini submarine.
“I wanted to make my ROV colorful to match the water with blues, greens and purples,” he said. “I was inspired because I because I love the water.
Peyton Atton, 12, said one of the challenges was to keep the propellers from falling off and bringing the vehicles to a standstill.
“Most of the time they are supposed to spin, but they often got stuck,” she said. “We turned them around and used an adhesive gun and that seemed to fix it.”
The other students who created ROVs included Victoria Hanson, Joseph Bernard, Jessica Kheav, and Nolan Garber.