Students go underwater for new learning experience

Nari Okui
Nari Okui

By Roger Mari - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - They're getting a head start in learning about science and math through a unique project that takes place under water.

It's called the "Sea-Perch-Project."

About 70 ninth graders entering Farrington, Nanakuli and Waianae high school build under-water remotely operated vehicles. The purpose is to boost low-income students success in math and science.

With materials found in hardware stores, these students are building 35 underwater robots.

"They're learning about buoyancy, they're learning about propultion systems they're learning about all the interesting robotics, underwater robotic science associated with these very small devices," said college professor John Rand.

It's a vehicle intended to expose them to the many opportunities available in science, technology, engineering and math.

"It just gives you ideas about those four subjects and it can really help you if you want to be in any field that involves those kinds of work," said student Karlyne Clement.

The teams of two are offered help from Kapiolani Community College mentors who are also interested in learning about this type of advanced under water technology at a higher level. They're happy to share what they've learned with these future scientists.

"It's their desire to want to learn more that I think really inspires us to keep going on as mentors," said Nari Okui, a mentor.

"I think we're looking at students that are potentially our ocean engineers our marine scientists, oceanographers of the future," said Rand.

Using ordinary materials to build an underwater robot and the minds and futures of these special students.

The students will test their sea perch under-water robots this Friday at the Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park.