P-MAN XVII Update # 16 - This is a *BIG* reason why the work that BentProp does is so satisfying.
Submitted by Josh Nichols, 5th-grade teacher at Stockbridge (Michigan) Heritage Elementary, who accompanied the Advanced Underwater Robotics Program team to Palau in 2015.
14 April 2015
Dear BentProp Team,
Flip always provides a field report of what goes on daily so I thought I would share with you what took place this year in the schools. Here is my final report for this year's mission.
Met up with the new principal at Koror Elementary. She was very excited about what BentProp does with ROV technology and she is very interested in growing an ROV program at Koror Elementary.
Mayleen Ngiriou created a team of teachers for me to work with during my stay and this team impressed me and surpassed any goals I had for them. The team included Emily Kaleb whom I met four years ago at the Elementary gate on a Good Friday with an ROV in my hand, Gilham Obeketang, Jed Gibson, Larson Siles, Neil Fisher (from Northern Babeldaob, Ngarchelong Elementary) and Niva Siles. I taught them how to build a complete ROV starting with a printed circuit board for the control system. Not only did they get it, they shared how to build it the following day with the maintenance staff, gym teacher and friends.
Here is an email that was sent to me after the workshop:
Mayl is a strong leader and is very excited to get her students to a level of someday working with our high school students and searching together.
Palau Community College
This year we made it a goal to meet with Palau Community College (PCC). I had the privilege of meeting with the Palau Community College President, Dr. Patrick Tellei. At first I thought the meeting was going south. He had a different take on ROV technology and I learned a lot from him. He was very concerned about ROV technology getting in the wrong hands. He feels that if the technology is introduced, it should accompany legislation. He expressed concerns about fisherman using it to find new spawning grounds. I listened. I shared ideas of how the ROV can be used as a tool for research, how it is used as a tool to find planes and how it could be used to explore spawning grounds. After a few discussions about basketball (he noticed my height) the conversation ended with laughs and a direct line to one of his instructors. That is when I got to meet General Electronics Instructor, Joel Yabes.
Joel brought 6 students and two other instructors to a workshop that I held at Koror Elementary the following day. We provided them with the gear and tools needed to build an ROV. They had some equipment that they purchased from Marine Advanced Technology Education MATE the previous year but it sat on a shelf. After a few hours, they had it wired and they left to build a frame.
The Koror teachers and PCC all met at Sam's Tours to head out on the ocean to test their new vehicles. All of the ROVs looked unique and were ready for their first swim. The Koror teachers headed out with me and the PCC group headed out with the Stockbridge High School students and Pat Scannon. Our goal was to meet at the Japenese Zero, but the tides had a different plan. The Koror teachers headed to a sunken ship and the PCC group tested theirs at another location. Both teams tested their ROVs, made changes and piloted them while they looked through their new camera and monitor system that they had built earlier in the week.
This past year I created a small ROV that I use in my classroom back in Stockbridge. I created a circuit board for students to solder and then the students build a frame to mount motors on. I had the 6th grade students in Palau build these mini ROVs and then they taught the 1st grade students at their school how to drive them. Here is one of the Mini ROVs the students built. They created a foam Palauan flag for buoyancy.
- Josh Nichols