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By Abdul Siddiqui, US Army PEO STRI STEM Mentor
The U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) Engineering Directorate, in collaboration with the members of Team Orlando and Central Florida STEM Education Council, implemented a high school internship three years ago to facilitate Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) capability for the local county students. This year’s program centered around work on the SeaPerch, a submersible remote operated underwater vehicle (ROV).
From June through August, 33 student interns comprised of mostly juniors from Orange and Seminole counties used their experience and ingenuity to create a beneficial modification to the base SeaPerch, utilizing the engineering design process. The students were from Lyman, University, Orlando Christian Prep, Winter Park, Wekiva, Seminole and Hagerty high schools.
“After all of their hard work, the students conducted their final tests on Aug. 5, which was exciting,” said Abdul Siddiqui, PEO STRI engineering mentor and STEM-Coordinator. “Two out of three wireless SeaPerch projects were successful, and based on the initial analysis, most of the issues experienced during the test were caused by arching of exposed wires or shorts caused by water intrusion.”
Students modified the base SeaPerch to incorporate a servo controlled claw that was designed and fabricated on a 3D plastic printer.
The internship opportunity is intended to be a practical approach for mentoring high school students in developing and incorporating processes needed for accomplishing successful technical projects. This project facilitates the “Concept to Implementation” experience for the engineering interns, and they complete the project by fabricating and testing their new designs. Some of the conceptual tool-sets that are presented include Technical Evaluation, Program Management and Individual Development. The internship consisted of six planned engineering sessions and UCF-IST facilitated the lab space for the internships.
All students who successfully completed the Engineering Internship received a certificate and 75 internship/community service hours.Click here for more information on the PEO STRI internship.
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