Lockhart CASE students test their submersibles
Posted on 05/18/2018
Lockhart Middle School's Center for Advancement of Science and Engineering Submersible Team 5-4

To test their craftsmanship, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students in Lockhart Middle School’s Center for the Advancement of Science and Engineering program tested submersibles in DeLeon Springs.

Students registered in the Automation and Robotics, Magic of Electrons, Design and Modeling class, drafted and built the devices. Aside from measuring and assembling the metal framing, the group members had to securely mount a GoPro camera, wire the propellers to a battery and remote controller, and calculate the weight to determine buoyancy.

Teacher Roger Barrios incorporates field trips into his curriculum to provide opportunities for students to experience new places, and to see their creations function in a real-world setting.

“I hope that my students learn the art of good craftsmanship and the beauty of creating something beautiful that will benefit society and our planet,” Barrios said. “Field trips are our testing grounds for our projects, prototypes, experiments and ideas. Field trips provide our students with real world scenarios for our concepts and ideas.”

At the springs, the students launched their submersible into the water and attempted to get it to swim, as well as to submerge, as directed by the controller. If the machine would not submerge, the team had to determine and make the necessary adjustments. Or, if the machine could not glide on the surface, the students had to determine what it needed to make it more buoyant, but still be capable of diving below the surface when directed.

Students made design changes by adding pool float materials with zip ties or by cutting the amount used, based on the floatation needs.

Mr. Barrios watched and listened to each group’s reasoning for making design changes. When he saw a group struggle, he did not rescue them, but instead asked questions to spark their critical thinking skills.

“I believe the students loved this trip. They had fun and at the same time they were learning many important concepts about science and nature,” Mr. Barrios said.