S.T.E.A.M. Collaboration at Burbank High

Burbank High School | Funded Fall 2017

To incorporate creativity and design elements into their students’ studies, Marine Biology teacher, Beth Jacob, had her students work in collaboration with David Card’s Engineering class to create remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). Combining knowledge from both fields, students worked together to create underwater robots that mimicked a real ocean animal and that were neutrally buoyant and could pick up a dive ring underwater. Through the project, students also learned to collaborate with others and communicate effectively to work towards a common goal.

“Students had to use creativity in their design, structure, and appearance of their marine animal underwater robot. They created a sketch, prototype, and then an actual robot structure that got modified a few times. Each step of the way, the two classes had to pass it on to the other class for modifications and approval. There were many models and prototypes constructed with art supplies, and eventually the final robots were constructed with creative materials, fitting into their budgets, and requiring students to be creative and realistic in a limited situation. The students also had to learn skills involved in actual jobs of engineering and marine biology. The marine biologists presented their desired animal appearance and research task to the engineers, who acted as consultants. The engineers came up with designs that the marine biologists had to approve of and make modifications to. Communication between different stakeholders in a project was a skill that the students had to learn. It was incredible to see students overcome challenges and use their creativity in this project!” -Beth Jacob, Marine Biology Teacher at Burbank High School

Mrs. Jacob continues, “Without being asked or required, students asked other teachers if they could use their 3D printers. The video production class that makes our school announcements was glad to come and film footage of a couple test trials of the ROVs in the pool. The administration was interested in the collaborative effort and incorporation of S.T.E.A.M. in the classroom as they supported and watched the final test trial.”




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