|The beginnings of a robot sculpture
courtesy of Save Oceans & Seas.
There were several interactive booths where children were encouraged to control terrestrial and aquatic robots. By the expressions on their faces this experience was rewarding for both the children and the students who created these robots.
|Sandra Brooke in a submersible preparing
to survey deep sea coral ecosystems for
damage after Deepwater Horizon oil spill in
the Gulf of Mexico.
|Children having hands-on
experiences controlling a
remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
These unique experiences allow children to experiment through problem-based learning and most importantly have fun with science. Meanwhile, the student engineers are given the opportunity to share their creations with the public. Right now these students are creating robots that, when controller and robot become one, can pick up a tin can off the sidewalk, or a washer from the bottom of a pool. In less than a decade some of these students and young participants may be valuable members of teams that are envisioning, designing and building robots that will be instrumental in the discovery of yet-to-be explored marine habitats, species, and underwater conditions we can only theorize about now. It is cliché but true, these children and teenagers are the future of deep sea marine exploration and events like this one foster a healthy sense of creativity and wonder that may eventually inspire children to become ocean advocates.