What is SeaPerch?

SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in an in-school or out-of-school setting. Students build the ROV from a kit comprised of low-cost, easily accessible parts, following a curriculum that teaches basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme. The SeaPerch Program provides students with the opportunity to learn about robotics, engineering, science, and mathematics (STEM) while building an underwater ROV as part of a science and engineering technology curriculum. Throughout the project, students will learn engineering concepts, problem solving, teamwork, and technical applications.

Kids working on a SeaPerchBuilding a SeaPerch ROV teaches basic skills in ship and submarine design and encourages students to explore naval architecture and marine and ocean engineering principles. Students learn important engineering and design skills and are exposed to all the exciting careers that are possible in naval architecture and naval, ocean, and marine engineering.

Students learn best with hands-on activities. During the process of building a SeaPerch, they follow an established curriculum to completely assemble the ROV, test it, and then participate in launching their vehicles.
Students are encouraged to compete in a culminating event, the SeaPerch Challenge. Events at the Challenge can include:

Winners of Regional SeaPerch Competitions may be able compete in the International SeaPerch Challenge, held each spring. A list of registered regional Challenges that are qualifiers for the National Challenge are posted on our website each fall.

Teacher/Mentor Training Program

Online video training is available on our website. These videos walk you through the entire build process and provide extra training in
areas like soldering, for those who require this level of detail and can be viewed at any time and stopped and started as needed.

You will need to have an actual SeaPerch kit and tool kit in front of you prior to beginning, and those are available for sale through our website.

On-site training is possible if a group wishes to have a SeaPerch trainer travel to conduct training.  This arrangement is possible if the schedule can be flexible.  There is no charge for on-site training if the trainee has travel funds available for hotel, transportation and travel expenses.  This event is a full day event, and must be for a minimum of 15 and maximum of 20 participants.

Continuing education and/or professional development credits may be offered.


The SeaPerch curriculum has been designed to meet many of the national learning standards identified by the government, as well as to map to the new Common Core standards. With one project, schools are able to teach many of the concepts required for their grade level using a fun, hands-on activity for students. Some of the concepts the students learn during the build include:

Program Benefits

Meets National Learning Outcomes: The SeaPerch Program meets many of the national learning outcomes for science, and maps to the Common Core Curriculum.

Supports Diversity: The program focuses on presenting the possibilities of technical careers to minorities, girls, and underrepresented populations.

Low Cost Per Student: The cost of the kits is kept low to encourage participation. View current pricing.  If funds are an issue, programs may apply for small kit grants of up to five SeaPerch kits and one tool kit.  This funding is based on need, and grants are based on the availability of funding, with Title 1 schools being given first consideration.

Web Resources & Community: The SeaPerch website provides resources, tools, information, and a community.

Why SeaPerch?

The U.S. Needs Trained Engineers

The world is changing. Innovations transform our nation, creating whole new industries and occupations. Every job of the future will require a basic understanding of math and science. Science and technology careers exist in a culture of inspiration, discovery, and innovation. Advances in technology will have a meaningful impact on the lives of every American.

The U.S. has fallen from 3rd to 17th in the world in the number of college graduates in engineering programs. In the U.S., only 5% of science degrees are awarded in engineering, as compared with 50% in China. If not addressed, the expected shortage of skilled workers could decrease the U.S.’s global competitiveness and may result in a lack of expertise in mission-critical areas.


STEM and the Future of the U.S. Navy

Inspiration, discovery, and innovation are the hallmarks of the Navy's Research Enterprise. Maintaining a technological edge requires a dynamic portfolio of scientific research and technology development, a culture of innovation, and the capacity to draw upon diverse ideas and approaches. Tomorrow's scientists and engineers will be at the heart of this innovation process.

Without a steady stream of civilian and enlisted scientists and engineers, the Navy's ability to maintain its Science and Technology superiority will falter over time. Consequently, increasing the STEM pipeline has become a critical priority for the Navy so that it is capable of tackling the challenges of the future.

By offering a broad range of STEM education and outreach programs, the Navy seeks to address the national crisis of decreasing college enrollments and careers in science and engineering. Through programs like SeaPerch, the goal is to engage and inspire young people by exposing them to exciting, hands-on, and mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, while at the same time fostering self-confidence and life skills.

The Story of SeaPerch

Story of how to build a robotSeaPerch began as one project in a book entitled "How to Build an Underwater Robot," by Harry Bohm and Vickie Jensen. There were many projects in the book, and SeaPerch captured just two pages, with a parts list and instructions on how to assemble the vehicle. Years later, Professor Thomas Consi at MIT developed a curriculum around the SeaPerch as a way to grow the Ocean Engineering Program at MIT.   Seeing the possibility of using SeaPerch to train teachers, MIT’s Dr. Chryss Chrystostomedes sought funding from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the MIT Sea Grant office and began to train teachers in the Boston area and beyond. Several years later, The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) had the vision to utilize its resources to manage the program and partnered with The Office of Naval Research (ONR) to take the SeaPerch Program from what was essentially a teacher-training program and develop it into a national K-12 STEM Outreach program. Through a grant from ONR, SNAME created a program that could be national in scope, including creating a kit, infrastructure, supporting materials, website, ordering and inventory mechanism, and a network of individuals to help grow the program. The efforts began to take root, the program grew to include almost all 50 states to date, and a national competition, the National SeaPerch Challenge, continues to expand yearly.

Since 2011, SeaPerch program has been managed by RoboNation (The Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Foundation - AUVSIF), and continues to expand nationally.

RoboNation is:

RoboNation was created by the AUVSI Foundation, a nonprofit, charitable 501(c)3 organization established to support the educational initiatives of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).

Most importantly, RoboNation is:

Each year, RoboNation offers a series of educational programs as well as robotics competitions that allow students to apply their STEM education outside the classroom. The experience is ideal preparation for entering the workforce, and many participating students are frequently offered coveted internship and employment opportunities while still in school. Visit www.robonation.org to learn more.

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