Underwater Robotics Program at Anna Maria Elementary School
Guy Harvey Initiative & Underwater Robotics
Underwater robots, such as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs),
are essential tools for ocean exploration. These robots can explore areas of the ocean that are too dangerous
or too difficult for humans to go. This new technology is an exciting way for students to explore new career paths
and job opportunities in the future. Florida is a unique environment surrounded by water and an ideal location for
Underwater Robotics Programs. The new Guy Harvey Initiative at Anna Maria Elementary School focuses on
marine concepts and life. The Inspiring Elementary Engineering class has broadened this initiative by providing
access to Underwater Robotics and Underwater Drones with the purpose of not only participating in the
Engineering Design Process but to explore marine environments.
Pidge Barreda, the STEM teacher at Anna Maria Elementary School, has taken on Underwater Robotics
Program and recently organized a competition with her participating students. It was amazing to see them so
engaged and excited about their designs and how they were able to build their own robots to perform specific
functions. The goal of the program is to participate in broader competitions organized by Mate ROV Competitions.
The Mate competitions challenge K-12 students to design and build ROVs to tackle missions modeled after
scenarios from the ocean workplace.
With the success at Anna Maria Elementary School, the School District of Manatee County is excited for the
future of the Underwater Robotics Programs and hopes to eventually expand the program to middle and high schools.