OpenROV Schools competition update

Its in the post!

imageAs at 30th of November all monies were received and the final order placed to allow 6 winning schools to receive their very own OpenROV Adventure kit. Thank you again to our amazing judges for the time given. Thank you to IQ Store, NEDBank Private Wealth and Grant Thornton, BCS Jersey members and Digital Jersey who have paid around £8000 for these prizes, you rock.

With our order placed, the next steps are to plan the build locations and ensure the tools, equipment and an engineer is on hand to assist with the builds. Each school will be able to choose if they go it alone, join a collaborative workshop or a little of both. The end result will be a working OpenROV that schools can learn to use. The instructions are great so we hope the engineers will drink tea and observe our future scientists and explorers getting the job done.

What next?

There’s no expectations that teachers and schools will have to deliver the projects they submitted, but we the BCS Jersey and our supporters and sponsors are going to try and help make sure there’s on-going project movement. For example we have experienced mariners who know how to operate these ROV’s in a position to help with projects. We will co-ordinate one or more visits with Ports of Jersey who will be happy to explain safety, give some background to real world projects that a school may be able to help them with, and perhaps where they can help with a school project. In another blog post I’ll write more about who’s involved and how they can help, I will also assist in a collaborative portal to keep all involved up to date and able to share both private and public updates. An announcement about the website and potential ROV club is coming very soon.

Why is my school not involved?

Primary schools were not invited to this build an ROV competition as it’s considered a learning platform for secondary and above, but given two First Tower School children told me it was a good project to run for schools after they test drove them at a maker faire in France? We know they too will benefit from them and will find ways to get them involved in the future.

There’s a rumour that the remaining 3 secondary schools and the local college are also joining the competition, at the time of writing this is in part true, I have left it open because teachers have been busy and possibly weary to enter, they are asked to do hundreds of things by parents and companies, and this project ran the risk of them committing to something that could be too involved or ultimately end up in disappointing students if it was not achievable. We have 1/4 entries in for the extended competition and seek additional prize sponsorship, we have 1 winning prize secured but if more entries come in we may need runner up prizes. Contact Digital Jersey or the BCS Committee if you want to sponsor or get involved in anyway but please don’t be disappointed if your too late as I have lots of unread emails and may have already been sponsored. If your children’s secondary school doesn’t enter the extended opportunity, please respect this, a club will form and opportunities will arise.

What is it our schools are building?

It is a small submersible remotely controlled vehicle, it’s capable of achieving around 80 meters depth (wow) and is on the end of a 100 meter tether, the tether is plugged into a laptop with a live camera feed. It’s all customizable, you can add components to suit a project such as a depth sensor (included in this prize), an arm or extra lights. OpenROV provided an quick intro shown in this video and have plenty more videos including a ted talk you can find out more from.

Jersey Video 4 from z johnson on Vimeo.

When and where will schools receive this equipment?

As soon as it arrives we will check each kit, hand it over to a school, write another short update to announce build dates and perhaps share (with the entrants permission) some of the ideas submitted.

Thanks for reading

Ronnie – BCS Jersey Chairman