The science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce of the future is sitting in today’s K-12 classrooms, attending summer camps, and participating in after-school programs. Today's youth will be the voters, decision makers and innovators of tomorrow. How do we attract more youth—particularly those currently underrepresented in STEM fields such as girls and minorities—to explore the marvels of engineering and science? How do we prepare them to be active participants in the creation of solutions for–and not merely a witness to—the great challenges our global neighborhood faces, from environmental cleanup, to safe and efficient energy production, to improvements in healthcare?
The WaterBotics program can help answer this need! It has demonstrated increased student interest and understanding of science, engineering, and computer programming fields of study and careers among middle and high school students.
WaterBotics is an innovative, underwater robotics curriculum that can be used in traditional classroom settings or in after-school and summer camp programs. Team of students work together to design, build, program, test and redesign underwater robots, made of LEGO® and other components. Students engage in a series of design challenges or "missions" that gradually increases in complexity and ultimately leads to a fully functional underwater robot capable of maneuvering in a three foot deep pool. This introduces students to the concept of iterative design and demonstrates the value of testing and redesign.