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SeaPerch Teacher Workshops Kick Off In Fairbanks

Juneau, AK (February 7, 2012)— SeaPerch Teacher Workshops will kick off in Fairbanks on Thursday, February 9 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, coinciding with similar classes being held around the state of Alaska. These Professional Development courses are an opportunity for teachers to learn how to build a SeaPerch Underwater Remote Controlled Vehicle (ROV).

SeaPerch is a joint effort of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the National Defense Education Program, and STEM AK, a program of the Juneau Economic Development Council (JEDC). STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The goals of the course are to support and enhance the effective teaching of science and engineering in Alaska, utilizing hands-on, minds-on activities with students.

Eight teachers from middle and high schools around the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District will attend the SeaPerch Workshop on February 9 and 10 from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM and Saturday, February 11 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM at UAF Bunnell 308. A SeaPerch Advanced Workshop for teachers having completed the basic build workshop will be held on Thursday, February 9 from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM at UAF Bunnell 409.

The course introduces concepts and skills focusing on design, engineering, buoyancy, propulsion, and problem solving using construction of an underwater ROV as a platform. Robert Vieth, SeaPerch Instructor, says, “Included in the workshop are examples of real-world applications of remote-operated vehicle (ROV) technology, the use of tools to conduct scientific research, and a discussion on methods for applying best teaching practices to delivery of this material in the classroom.”

Workshops are open to teachers in 4th-12th grades, as well as home school educators and leaders from youth organizations like Scouting, 4-H, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. The next workshop in Alaska will be held in Ketchikan, February 24 – 25 from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM at Ketchikan High School.

All workshop materials, tools, instruction manuals, and black-line masters are provided at no charge, as well as some refreshments. One UAA credit (ED 580) is available.

Meetings will also be held with the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District to discuss implementation of the Engineering is Elementary program and offer training workshops for teachers in grades 2-5. The Engineering is Elementary (EiE) project fosters engineering and technological literacy among elementary school students and educators. EiE lessons not only promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning in grades 2-5, but also connect with literacy and social studies. To date, EiE has reached over 1.7 million students and 22,000 teachers and is presently used in all fifty states. For more information on this program in Alaska, visit stemak.org/engineering-elementary.

For more information on SeaPerch workshops, visit stemak.org/seaperch. Contact SeaPerch Instructor, Robert Vieth at rvieth@jedc.org or 907-523-2342 with questions about the workshops. For media inquiries, contact Adrien Lopez, Communications Officer for the Juneau Economic Development Council (JEDC), at alopez@jedc.org or 907-523-2323.

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