Come on Down!

What do we do when a dive is too dangerous for humans to accomplish? Send in the robots! Middle school scientists get acquainted with several different models of submersible robots in the second lesson of six from NOAA. Lab groups then examine the buoyancy of various objects, perform calculations, and learn about the factors that underwater robotic explorers must overcome for a successful mission.

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Adaptations are available for classrooms that use Lego robotics or Vernier calculator applications
  • The additional resource videos are a great means of getting learners more familiar with the job of submersibles in research
Classroom Considerations
  • Pupils should have prior knowledge of calculating volume of solids, the concept of density, and some practice using a triple-beam balance
  • Arrange computer time for working groups to facilitate robot research
Pros
  • Each group is given their own robot to study, promoting a sense of ownership and bringing variety to the lesson
  • The experiment give learners practice in measurement and calculations
  • Teacher's guide includes a detailed materials list, printable materials, and information about each of the robots
Cons
  • None
Common Core
NGSS