OpenROV - High Schools


We (Mount Desert Island HS) in Maine, USA are going to undertake building our first OpenROV this summer and incorporate it into our Island Pathways - Marine Studies program and our Multimedia Journalism curriculums. I am interested to know of other high schools are doing something similar. We would love to make and build relationships between our programs and other high school programs.


I am a few hours south of you in teaching in Hampton NH (Winnacunnet High School). We built one last year and I am just dusting off the ROV and getting it ready for another summer at the camp I work at. Curious what updates I have to do to get it operational again. Pretty successful in limited use last summer. We did have some leakage issues with the battery tubes.

Jim M.


Hello! My students at Oakland High in Oakland CA have built 2 OpenROV’s with huge and indispensable assistance from David Lang, Eric Stackpole, Erika and Thomas and other staff members as well as some community partners. We put our ROV in at Catalina twice and in our local Lake Merritt twice. We lost one ROV at Catalina last year, but are hoping to build another this fall and get our remaining 2.6 up and running for exploration. You can read about our project here:

[Because this is a voluntary project, it has been a bit of a challenge to get students to write and take ownership of the OpenExplorer expedition. I have kept committed to the view that it should be their words.] This has been an afterschool operation involving about 5 hardcore builders and then a number of kids who come and go. I did teach a whole class lesson on ocean exploration and had the group demonstrate the ROV functions and show a video taken from the Lake Merritt dive in 2014.

Challenges have been competing with other less demanding after school activities for students (always provide refreshments), finding secure places to store yet have accessible tools and supplies. More importantly, getting the group as a whole to envision possibilities for exploration with the ROV after it is built and dealing with issues like ballasting and hydro-dynamics. Students noticed that the ROV had trouble manouvering in current and also that its ballasting needed to be adjusted going from saltwater to pool water.
Once the ROV is assembled and works more or less in water, the students need practice in flying it and capturing photos and video. This is one thing I would like to focus on with our remaining bot.
The great advance for us in preventing leaks was getting the gland on the o-rings absolutely clean and then using plumber’s tape on both the electronics chamber and the battery tubes. We also put dessicant in the electronics tube and kept a little negative pressure in them to hold the endcaps tight.
So now, as we lurch into our 3rd year of OpenROV’ing, I am trying to get a new build kit with donation funds and possibly access to more than one ROV for students to do some practice sessions at a local pool. We did have a moment of fame at the CAl Maritime Academy this summer when two students demonstrated the ROV in a high school summer program.

I would be interested in seeing if hs students who are building at different high schools might interact and support eachother.