A select group of 15 Rocky Point Middle School sixth-graders were invited to take part in the building’s 15-week after-school GATES program, participating in a 10-week Open Space Stewardship Program through Brookhaven National Laboratory.
They completed a five-week field study in the Pine Barrens located behind the middle school, the students collected soil samples and studied land plots in order to learn about this wilderness area.
As part of their engineering study, the students worked in teams to create remote-operated vehicles. Using PVC piping and various electronic equipment, the groups developed several underwater ROVs, which they launched into Mill Pond in Yaphank.
“This program enabled me to learn about different aspects of science and how they relate to everyday life,” said student Paul Leheste. “My favorite part was making the ROV. I’m really interested in the engineering part of the project, as I really enjoy building and creating different things.”