Using Underwater Drones for STEM Education - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Using Underwater Drones for STEM Education

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Teachers who’ve built drones at the Nevada STEM Underwater and Aerial Vehicle Computer Science Institute officially put their robots to use on Saturday.

The program is aiming to make science and engineering fun for teachers and students.

The teachers first began learning how to build and operate the underwater robots in August.

Dr. Alex Forrest with the University of California, Davis, says Saturday’s test drive was a type of final exam for the teachers.

“Places like this are really the most beautiful places you can go to and try out the skills that you learned in the classroom,” says Forrest.

The six robots were first wired to a wire, as a way to retrieve the device in the water. The drones were then attached to a computer program that would allow someone on shore to drive the drone and also to capture images.

"Seeing and making sure everything works, making sure that nothing floods when you go underwater, making sure that you can pilot your vehicle and understand what it's reporting back," says Forrest.

Toni Dudas-Tacner is one of the teachers who built the drones, she says she invested a lot of time and learned a lot from the program.

"It's just so wonderful that we have this opportunity and that we're able to give this to our kids," says Dudas-Tacner.

Dudas-Tacner says the teachers are looking forward to applying the knowledge they've learned into the classroom, to teach more students about STEM education down the road.

“My vision is that all of the students will be able to develop skills where they will be able to have high paying careers when they get older," says Dudas-Tacner.

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