Next Bright Idea-
Stockbridge High School’s Advanced Underwater Robotics class has been asked to return to Palau in March of 2013 to continue their work assisting the BentProp Project recover aircrews missing in action (MIA) since World War II. This years mission is to search for the last missing B-24 “Liberator” bomber and her crew. Based on our students’ success last year, the BentProp Project asked that we return with our improved Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle or ROV and our towed camera array to help search for and record images of downed aircraft in Republic of Palau. When obtained, the images will be used to identify the aircraft and then her crew. The BentProp Project is a non-profit organization that travels to the Island Nation of Palau each year in search of downed aircraft and missing aircrews from World War II. Information related to The BentProp project can be found at bentprop.org
This year, while in Palau our returning students will be able to complete internships with the following organizations:
1. An Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) internship with Scripps, Cal-Poly and the University of Hawaii through the Coral Reef Research Foundation (CRRF) which will allow our second year students a chance to learn from post-doctoral students from theses universities and be given hands on training in the use of AUVs.
2. An ROV internship with the Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum’s Mark Gleason, students will learn to operate the Video Ray ROV and use it in the search for missing aircrews in Palau. Students will also help to prepare a museum display documenting the efforts to recover missing U.S. service members in the Palau Islands.
3. A Side Scan Sonar internship with the BentProp Project using the Marine Sonic side scan sonar, students will learn to operate and maintain the side scan sonar as well as interpret the side scan sonar images.
Stockbridge High School’s Advanced Underwater Robotics class is the capstone class for Stockbridge Community Schools robotics program. The Stockbridge Robotics program spans grades 3 through 12. This program, which began in 2007, has steadily expanded each year and now includes 100 students in grades three through five, 70 Middle School students and 60 high school students each school year.
Based upon the success of the Advanced Underwater Robotics class we have seen an increased interest in STEM subjects and an increased number of students participating in Robotics and Underwater Robotics classes within Stockbridge Community Schools. We have also seen an increased participation by female students in all grade levels.
We feel that this is a tremendous opportunity for the robotics program at Stockbridge Community Schools to expand our program and provide closure for the families of the downed aircrews.
Selected Community and Student Comments:
You have provided so much interest, entertainment, inspiration and hope to many more people than you realize. Many residents and old Grads of S.H.S (I graduated in 1940!) often talk and brag about your team and all that you have accomplished this past year. I know you seniors were a big part of the team but that many underclass mates are able and willing to fill in the gap as you graduate on to bigger and even better adventures. I understand a return trip is in the works. So in honor of the seniors, I am making a gift to your fund for 2013. Honors night certainly proved how valuable you much have been to the whole project. Thanks to you all! -Dorene White
Hopefully, a unique program like this will help grow interest in our school district, attract more students, and therefore led to other unique educational experiences. All this leading to a high school and school district that continue to ....grow both financially and academically. Anything less will likely work towards weakening the future of our schools. Don't let go of this program. Learn how you can expand it and incorporate additional programs that will complement its purpose. - Chad Quintanilla
So, so proud of you kids and your teacher! I am a retired teacher myself and only wish my 14 year old grandson could be in your class, too! What an adventure and tremendous learning experience! - Babara McCollum, Retired teacher
The school should continue to support this project because not only does it incorporate all of your school skills such as math, science and English but it also tests and teaches real world skills such as communication team work dedication and insane problem solving.
Wesely Havens 10th Grade ROV Team Member 2012.
Out of the many lessons learned from the trip’s experiences I believe the most prominent was simply to talk to, and get to know people. We were all taught as children to not talk to strangers for obvious reasons, but this trip has helped to break that habit and I have found that I learned much more about the people we worked with and the culture of Palau then I would have reading reports, or something out of a book. I feel that this lesson will continue help me become a more knowledgeable person.
-Scott Watson 12th grade ROV Team Member 2012
Our trip was definitely a success. Every day the team would get up around 6:45 in the morning and start working within 20 minutes. After the briefing with BentProp we would go down to the dock and set up. By 10:00 we would be out on the water ready to send the robot down. Usually we wouldn’t be back until 5 in the afternoon. Even after being out on the boat all day the team still would be ready to take the robot apart. Our schedule itself shows our success. We are a bunch of high school kids who were willing to spend all day working in 90 degree weather. We also were able to overcome any problems we ran into on the trip from leaks to a power drop. But most importantly we built a robot that has been successfully tested at 125ft and could possibly go deeper.
- Barb Lance, 11th Grade ROV Team member 2012
Budget and Future Expenditures:
The budget is developed to facilitate the one time purchase of tools and reusable ROV parts for the Palau mission and future ROV class needs. To maintain the program from year to year, reasonable expenditures for consumables and replacement parts will be made by Stockbridge Community Schools.
Stockbridge Community Schools are requesting grants from the following organizations to pay for the 2013 Palau Expedition:
The Squareone Education Network: $ 5,000.00
The Stockbridge Area Education Foundation: $ 3,000.00
Stockbridge Lions Club: $ 1,000.00
Mackinder-Glen Post 510 of the American Legion $ 1,000.00
The Weatherwax Foundation: $ 5,000.00
The Hurst Foundation: $ 5,000.00
Dawn Foods: $ 5,000.00
Jackson Community Foundation: $ 5,000.00
Capital Region Foundation: $ 5,000.00
Consumers Energy Foundation: $ 5,000.00
Total grant funding: $40,000.00
Student led fundraising activities:
Donations from family, friends and local businesses $ 5,000.00
Student Hosted Movie Nights $ 2,000.00
Holiday “HEX BUG” sale. $ 1,000.00
Expedition Supporter T-Shirt Sale $ 1,000.00
Expedition Supporter Window Sticker sale $ 1,000.00
The Sale of ROV Corporate Sponsorships $10,000.00
Total student led fundraising: $20,000.00
2013 Fundraising Goal: $60,000.00
ROV Building and Upgrade expenses $ 5,000.00
Towed Camera Array Building Expenses $ 3,000.00
Photographic and Photo editing equipment $ 4,000.00
Total Equipment Costs $12,000.00
Alpena Test Dive Travel Expenses $ 2,500.00
Muskegon Test Dive Travel Expenses $ 2,500.00
Palau Travel Expenses $43,000.00
Total Travel Expenses $48,000.00
Total Project Costs: $60,000.00