- Eighth Grade
- Wellness Wednesday
Want to Build an Underwater Robot?
By Morgan Stair, Upper School Teacher
The eighth grade Wellness Wednesday class, SeaPerch, is off and swimming. SeaPerch is an underwater robotics program where students build their very own remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to roam the sea (or pool) floor. It is another example of how Heilicher is integrating STEAM topics and techniques into the curriculum.
This fall, the program started by dividing 10 students into three different teams. Throughout the course of the year, each team must use a variety of tools including a PVC pipe cutter, power drill, and soldering iron, to create their ROV. Teams will need to communicate, problem solve, and, perhaps most challenging for 13-year-olds, read directions.
To help them along the way, Heilicher partnered with Juaned Sattar, a professor in the University of Minnesota Science and Engineering department, who specializes in underwater ROVs.
Students are keeping a journal of their responses, here are a few of their thoughts:
Today my group cut up all our pipes, drilled all our elbows, and marked the drill holes. The only issue we encountered was figuring out how to share the cutters because there were three groups and two cutters. Eventually we managed to get it sorted. - Noa G.
Today our group attempted to finish the frame. We almost finished, but we have to drill the final holes in some of the pipes. We communicated fine. Robby did like to make every thing fair, but sometimes you just need to get things done. Overall our group did a good job today. - Gabe K.
Today we worked on the motors and the wires. When we were working during lunch, someone (me) broke the brown wire, by ACCIDENT. To our relief, the brown wire is not used in the SeaPerch robot. We stripped the rest of the wires and attached them to the motor. Hopefully we can finish the motor unit next week. - Jacob K.
Here are some photos of SeaPerch students working on their ROVs.
The Heilicher Alumni Board, made up of current high schoolers, met in February to begin formulating recommendations to strengthen the school and its programs. Read about the first meeting of the 2019 year.
Morgan Stair's seventh graders read and wrote a variety of poems and created websites to display them. Explore some of their creative works here.
On February 8, 2019, Rose McGee of Sweet Potato Comfort Pies and Wendy Goldberg, Heilicher Assistant Director of Jewish Education, traveled to Pittsburgh to deliver homemade pies to members of the synagogues affected by the tragic shooting last October. Heilicher students and parent volunteers helped make and ship the pies and included heartfelt messages of hope with each one. Read Wendy's reflections here.