Cardinal Middle School Receives $890 STEM Grant from First Energy for Underwater Robotics Program

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An underwater robotics program is ready for launch at Cardinal Middle School thanks to an $890 STEM grant from First Energy. The money will be used to purchase equipment to construct four underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs). In addition to the First Energy grant money, the East Geauga Kiwanis donated funds for underwater wireless cameras for each ROV. “I am so excited to have this opportunity and bring this experience to Cardinal Middle School students,” says grant recipient Christine Schroeter. “The ROVs that we will be constructing  are actually part of the SeaPerch program which will provide students with the opportunity to learn about those STEM components of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, but not only that, this will also encourage them to explore naval architecture and marine and ocean engineering principles and careers.”

Schroeter, who is a Cardinal Middle School paraprofessional, is also a Lieutenant (jg) with the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps of the Akron Battalion. She is a nationally certified SeaPerch ROV trainer and has provided training to members of the military across the globe. In addition to her expertise, she will be joined by an electrical engineer, a science teacher, a math teacher, and two community members to assist students with their construction.

In order to be considered for the underwater robotics program, students had to submit an application, teacher references, and an essay on why they had an interest in the project. The group will meet for two hours once a week to learn about and assemble the ROVs with a goal to have the underwater crafts completed by spring 2018. “We have a lot of intense work to do, but I think we have a great group of students and volunteers assembled, and I’m confident that these ROVs will come together as expected,” Schroeter says.

Upon completion of the build, students will partner with the Geauga Park District to deploy the ROVs to provide underwater surveillance and water quality sampling in the District’s lakes and rivers.“FirstEnergy has always supported educational activities in communities served by The Illuminating Company, particularly those that encourage students to pursue careers in the critical fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Dave Dillon, external affairs manager, The Illuminating Company. “We are pleased to assist with STEM projects which support our students, schools and educators as they work to build our region’s future workforce.”

Pictured In Cover Photo: Cardinal Middle School Paraprofessional Christine Schroeter receives a $890 grant from First Energy to implement an underwater robotics program at Cardinal Middle School.  From left, Jeff Doran (First Energy), Christine Schroeter, Dave Dillon (First Energy), and Dr. Scott J. Hunt, Cardinal Superintendent.

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