Diving into Science at CSM’s Leonardtown Campus

Wellness and Aquatics Center Host to Summer Underwater Robotics Camp

Interest in robotics is taking a dive, and not in a negative way—in an underwater way.

This summer, 84 St. Mary’s County middle school students who participated in SeaPerch, a Navy and National Defense Education Program camp, used the College of Southern Maryland Leonardtown Campus Wellness and Aquatics Center pool to test the design and maneuverability of the underwater robots they built from kits during their weeklong adventure.

During the underwater robotics camp, students learned about the challenges and rewards engineers face while working on projects in a dynamic environment such as the ocean.

“Standing on the edge of the pool looking underwater, the students had to deal with refraction or a skewed view,” said St. Mary’s Ryken High School Dean of Academics Barbara Ives, whose school hosted the camp. “The students quickly adjusted and got used to maneuvering their robots underwater.”

 “Robotics is so visual—it’s practical and hands-on—that is big with this generation of middle school students,” said Ives, who added that the refined tactile skills students pick up from playing video games gives them an advantage operating robotics controllers.

             Like the land-based robotics programs and competitions for students that CSM has offered for more than five years, underwater robotics provides students with a platform to explore and expand their interests in computer programming, engineering, construction and electronics.

            In addition to robotics events, CSM is hosting the fourth Women + Math event for girls ages 13-21 who are interested in exploring careers that draw heavily on math. Ives will give the keynote address at the Women + Math Conference on Oct. 15 at the La Plata Campus. Learn more about the conference at www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4uClu0vklo.

For information on CSM robotics competitions, Women + Math and other STEM programs, visit www.csmd.edu/istem/.



Women + Math: Infinite Possibilities—Career Exploration Event for Girls Ages 13-21. 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., October 15. College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Center of Business and Industry (BI) Building, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. Women + Math is an all-day event designed to give girls an opportunity to spend time with successful women in careers that draw heavily on math: health science, computer science, architecture, engineering, physics, meteorology and cyber security. Girls will participate in workshops, as well as meet one-on-one with women in their fields of interest. The day includes breakfast and lunch, hands-on workshops, career panel discussion and a keynote address by St. Mary’s Ryken High School Dean of Academics Barbara Ives, the first female graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. To pre-register for Women + Math, visit www.csmd.edu/ISTEM/register. Registrations received by Oct. 10 will be entered in a special drawing for a $50 gift certificate. Free. 301-934-7808, sandrap@csmd.edu.