Council announces SeaPerch program

Posted: Wednesday, February 04, 2009

JUNEAU - The Juneau Economic Development Council, which promotes economic development through Technology Transfer and STEM education statewide through the Department of Defense funded SpringBoard program, recently announced the SeaPerch program, a hands-on underwater engineering curriculum that introduces pre-college students to underwater robotics.

Susan Giver Nelson, director of outreach and strategic development for the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, with the support of the JEDC and the Department of Defense, funded teacher training this week in Anchorage on Monday and Tuesday; and in Juneau on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Nelson trained more than 40 educators to implement SeaPerch.

"After presenting the program to a group of educators in Alaska last summer, I felt there was a great deal of commitment and enthusiasm among the teachers and administrators, and am excited to see this first-ever training come to fruition," Nelson said.

Paul Fukuhara from the Operations Services Department in Keyport, Wash., also will be in Alaska working with SeaPerch groups this week.

SeaPerch is part of the Office of Naval Research's initiative, "Recruiting the Next Generation of Naval Architects," and is administered by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. It is funded by the Office of Naval Research and the Department of Defense.

In Juneau, Clay Good will teach a pilot class at Thunder Mountain High School. Prior to these upcoming events, a SeaPerch program was used in a summer camp in the Pribilof Islands run by Michele Ridgeway as well as in a school in Anchorage, reaching about 300 students.

This workshop and others throughout the state are possible through the U.S. Department of Defense's funding of JEDC's SpringBoard program. To learn more about JEDC and SpringBoard, visit or For more information, contact Barbara K. Schetter at 523-2338 or

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