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ROVs at Cabrillo

Why teach ROVs?

Revolving around the theme “From the Depths of the Sea to Outer Space” the Advanced Integrated Science class is a continuation of the science courses here at Cabrillo High School. The students learn California State Standards in Physics then apply those standards into building an ROV.

Students learn valuable hands on skills that will carry on into their life in the real world. Such as proper wiring, working with electricity, connecting batteries, using electric and hand held tools. Students are asked to think “outside the box” and create a project from scratch using their imagination. They must learn to work as a team to draw a design, build it, attach motors and perform correct wiring to the battery and successfully operate the ROV under water to perform specific tasks.

Students must keep a daily journal containing tasks completed while building their ROV and will be interviewed by professionals from NOAA, Santa Barbara City College and UCSB to show their competency in the ROV.

The Contest

Obstacle course

In a 20 minute time period teams must run through an obstacle course, collect samples and “park” in specific marked spots. This portion shows their expertise in ROV piloting, and really emphasizes their ability to work well as a team.


The teams are interviewed by expert community members on their working knowledge of the ROV. The teams must be able to show their understanding of how physics is applied to the ROV as well as goals reached and failures overcome.

Relay Race

Each team will compete against each other for speed and maneuverability. This portion benefits those teams who took into hand the design of their ROV while building.

Tug of War

Through the process of elimination ROV’s are tied together to test their strength. Having the ROV motors strategically placed on the ROV can be a real benefit for this portion of the contest.

Community Support

Community businesses have been aiding this course by donating materials. Ace hardware has been the biggest donor, sending us all of the PVC needed for frames. Wal-Mart and NAPA autoparts have donated car batteries to power the ROV’s and Home Depot has supported with tools.

If you would like to be a contributor to the ROV program please contact Michelle Poquette or Greg Eisen at (805) 742-2888.