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ODU's Lean Institute Featured in Magazine Article on Underwater Robotics

Old Dominion University's Lean Institute was featured in the most recent edition of Naval Architecture and Marine Magazine, as part of a profile of SEAPerch, an underwater robotics program sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME).

Alok Verma, the Ray Ferrari Professor in ODU's engineering technology department and director of the Lean Institute, was interviewed for the piece - about the two underwater robotics competitions run by ODU, under its groundbreaking MarineTech initiative.

The article describes the two contests the school organized, including one from last June at Maury High in Norfolk that was attended by 60 middle school and high school students.

"Each team had to take their robots through a 'U' course, which included narrow channels and underwater barriers. After navigating through the channels and barriers, the students' robot had to catch a floating ball and drop it into a goal area," the article states. A picture accompanying the article features Verma and some of the participants in the competition organized by ODU.

ODU and Longwood University are collaborating on MarineTech, a teacher education program designed to integrate underwater robotics and a marine technology curriculum, that is aimed at racially diverse, economically disadvantaged school divisions in central and southeast Virginia. The ultimate goal of MarineTech, which is funded by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), is to convince students with an interest in engineering and math to consider the shipbuilding industry as a career.

The SEAPerch program was developed by the MIT Sea Grant College Program. SEAPerch is designed to teach students how to build underwater robots. Its underlying goal is to get students interested in so-called STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) as part of an initiative to train future workers for these expanding fields.

This article was posted on: April 9, 2010

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