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An Introduction to Underwater Robotics

Target Grade or Age

Grade Level: 5th - 12th

Our talented team of Museum educators are committed to providing an engaging experience that brings SOL-related content to life for your students. We bring passion and energy to each program to ensure the highest level of impact and retention. To learn more about this program, click on one of the format options listed below.

Choose your experience:

Duration: 2 hours

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to drive an underwater robot? Well, this is the program for you! Since the 1950s, ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) have been used for a wide range of military, scientific, and salvage missions. From documenting deep-sea animals to servicing underwater oil structures, ROVs are an integral tool in the growing field of Marine Technology. During this program, students will explore common ROV tools and parts, the importance of underwater robotics for research, and how ROVs connect to USS Monitor’s artifact recovery. Students will put their engineering skills to the test by working in groups to plan, build, and revise an ROV frame design. Students will then test drive their designs in our test pools in the Virginia Courtyard.

Please note: This seasonal program is offered from April 1 – May 31.

Learning Objectives

Students will gain a better understanding of: 

  • Underwater robotics through building and testing their own ROV frames.
  • The connection between the shipwreck of USS Monitor and how ROVs have helped explore it.

Science (VDOE 2018):

  • Elementary: 5.1(d,i), 5.1k, 5.6, 5.7g
  • Middle: 6.1f, 6.1i, 6.1j, 6.5, 6.9, LS.1j, LS.10b, LS.10c, LS.11d, LS.11e, PS.1m, PS.1n, PS.6, PS.10a, PS.10c, PS.10d, PS.11a
  • High: ES.1b, ES.1f, ES.6b, ES.6d, PH.1f, PH.4, PH.7

Next Generation Science Standards:

  • Elementary: 5-ESS3-1
  • Middle: MS-ESS3-4, MS-ETS1-1, MS-ETS1-3
  • High: HS-PS3-3, HS-LS2-7, HS-ESS3-1, HS-ESS3-4, HS-ETS1-1, HS-ETS1-2, HS-ETS1-3


Payment can be made before the program, or we can invoice following your program.

  • Programs at the Museum are $4.50 per student.
    All adults accompanying a field trip are free.
  • Programs at your location are $4.50 per student.
  • Virtual education programs are $125 per program.

Reservations are required for all programs and are booked on a first-come, first-served basis. Programs fill quickly in the fall and spring, so make your reservations a minimum of two weeks in advance.

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