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Marine studies student, teachers test ROV

Aug 02, 2020
Courtesy of: Chip Laberbom BAHS student Sawyer Carson, left, operates the ROV while marine studies teacher Dave Thomas spools out the 300-foot tether in their ROV test.

Belfast — Belfast Area High School staff and students recently conducted some sea trials with the FIFISH V6 ROV the school was able to obtain this spring, with help from a Perloff Family Foundation grant.

Student Sawyer Carson and marine studies instructors Dave Thomas and Chip Lagerbom accompanied local resident Bob Winslow aboard his boat to a site off Bayside to make use of the FIFISH underwater Remote Operating Vehicle's capabilities.

They operated mostly in 25 to 35 feet of water attached to a 300-foot tether. Trials included establishing compass headings (for survey work), mooring location searches and cataloging the marine life of Penobscot Bay with help from the ROV's 4K UHD video camera.

Next they hope to incorporate the use of an iPad and VR smart control technology. "Can't wait to get more students involved!" Lagerbom said in a news release.

Their hope is to enhance the marine studies program with the eventual goal of offering a pathway for those interested in pursuing their BAHS diploma with concentrations of STEM-endorsements in fields of marine-related science/math/engineering, technology, and/or history/commerce/economics, Lagerbom said.

"Such a pathway for a student to choose would help promote and lead to more STEM opportunities, marine advocacy and awareness, marine-related commercial sustainability, community connections, and mentorships," he said. "This kind of professional training could also positively influence future education or employment or career decisions."

The instructors' next initiative is to secure a watercraft from which staff and students can safely and effectively conduct marine studies in the harbor, bay and islands. "We envision lots of great possibilities and opportunities for students with this Marine Studies program," Lagerbom said.



Bob Winslow leads BAHS student Sawyer Carson and marine studies teacher Dave Thomas aboard his boat at the Belfast dock. (Courtesy of: Chip Lagerbom)
BAHS student Sawyer Carson, left, and marine studies teacher Dave Thomas familiarize themselves with the ROV's operating features connected to their phones. (Courtesy of: Chip Lagerbom)
(Courtesy of: Chip Lagerbom)
An Atlantic Rock Crab (Cancer irrotatus) crawls along the bottom off Northport as viewed by the ROV being operated by a BAHS marine studies student. (Courtesy of: Chip Lagerbom)
ROV camera working as it is put into the water off Bayside. (Courtesy of: Chip Lagerbom)
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