First underwater robotics program in the AV

Students in Joe Walker’s VEX Robotics class were excited to open their new underwater robot kits.

Students in Joe Walker’s VEX Robotics class were excited to open their new underwater robot kits.

LANCASTER – Underwater robotics will make its Antelope Valley debut this year at Joe Walker STEALTH Academy.

With the help of a grant from the United States Navy, Joe Walker’s VEX Robotics class will begin the study of this innovative technology through SeaPerch.  This program allows students and teachers to build a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) from a kit with user-friendly parts, tools and clear instructions.

The grant provided Joe Walker’s VEX Robotics class with 10 robot kits from SeaPerch, which provides one kit for every three students to work on during class.

“It’s pretty special that this class gets to be the very first in the Antelope Valley to do this,” said Matt Anderson, VEX Robotics teacher at Joe Walker. “This class is dedicated to acting responsibly with this privilege and learning everything we can from this program.”

VEX Robotics has long been at the core of Joe Walker curriculum, which focuses on science, technology, engineering and learning through humanities (STEALTH).  This partnership with the SeaPerch underwater robotics program will provide students an opportunity to flourish in one of the nation’s leading engineering industries.

Joe Walker student Jacqueline Escobar, a graduate of the summer 2012 Navy Sea Cadet program, first introduced her fellow students and teachers to the idea of applying for the grant and bringing underwater robotics to her school.  “I thought it would be a really fun thing for our school to do,” said Jacqueline, who is still considering a career in engineering.

As part of the Navy Sea Cadet program this summer at Camp Pendleton, Jacqueline participated in an underwater robotics competition.  Jacqueline completed the VEX Robotics course last year as a 7th grader, but because of her knowledge on the subject of underwater robotics, Anderson has asked her to attend the class as a teacher’s assistant.

After weeks of hard work and building, the students will christen their underwater vessels at a local community pool.

“This program reinforces the fact that Westside is on the cutting-edge of technology in order to prepare our students for the challenges of the future in this region,” says Westside Union School District Superintendent Regina Rossall.  “We are very proud of our students at Joe Walker for receiving this grant and accomplishing that goal.  We are grateful to the United States Navy for providing our students with this opportunity.  It’s an honor.”

For more information about Joe Walker’s underwater robotics program, visit the District Website, or call the school at (661) 943-3258.