ETS1: Engineering Design

Design Challenge:


Learners will discuss, research, design, build, and showcase a model ocean exploration device from LEGO bricks or other found materials. Work in teams to research the variety of ocean exploration devices including the tools on E/V Nautilus but don't forget the Build-A-Bot Inspiration Slidedeck for more ideas!  Brainstorm what type of tool learners want to make, what their device will do, and why there is a need for this tool. 

STEM Learning Module:

Driftin' Away

Oceanographic drifters are essential tools deployed in the open ocean to verify computer model predictions of ocean currents. Students will learn about ground-truthing and compare and contrast data collected through field methods against modeled predictions. Students will apply their new knowledge predicting a drifter’s path using an Eastern Pacific Ocean current simulator, and then ground-truth their track’s accuracy against actual drifter data collected on Nautilus.

STEM Learning Module:

Get To Know A Drifter

Ocean drifters are a simple, but important oceanographic research tool. Students will work in small groups to research structural and functional components of surface and deep water drifters, compare building materials and associated costs, and complete a design sketch. Students build a model of a drifter using everyday supplies and develop a hypothetical research proposal for how their drifter could contribute to the scientific understanding of the ocean.

Design Challenge:

Robotic Arm Kit Activity

In this activity, you will build a small-scale hydraulic robot arm to move blocks and witness this fluid dynamic system in action.

On E/V NautilusROV Hercules relies on a hydraulic pump to activate its two manipulator arms.

Design Challenge:

Ocean Motion & the Attitude Sensor Project

How E/V Nautilus responds to open ocean waves and its orientation called the ship’s attitude. Sensors on the ship work to collect the variables of heave (up and down motion), pitch (front to back seesaw motion), and roll (side to side motion) of the vessel.

In this project, learn to build a Raspberry Pi©-powered sensor to collect pitch and roll data of your platform, just like the attitude sensor on Nautilus!


STEM Learning Module:

A Sinking Feeling

Use the “Think, Try, Make, Redesign” engineering model to build a neutrally buoyant vehicle from everyday materials like ketchup packets, washers, spare change, and rubber bands. In this perseverance-building challenge, students explore material properties to explore what makes something float, sink, or find neutral buoyancy. Students will learn how buoyancy impacts Exploration Vessel Nautilus and our ROVs as platforms for exploration.

STEM Learning Module:

Sense Your Surroundings

Building off the Can You Sense It module, students will design a research question they can answer using an Arduino sensor. Challenge groups to identify questions that can be answered with data on environmental variables collected from a sensor deployed within the school or community. A provided resource bank guides students through sensor platform design including instructions to add data logging capacity to the platform.

Sensor Technology Series: Module 3

STEM Learning Module:

Can You Sense It?

This module guides students through the incorporation of a simple sensor into the Arduino basics covered in the Codes & Controllers module. Students will learn basic programming techniques to build a proximity sensor, design their own experimental trials for the sensor, and collect and analyze data from the trials. Other types of simple sensors (temperature, humidity, environmental gases) could be substituted into this lesson. Students will read about how sensor technology is used on Nautilus.