UREEF is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit underwater robotics program headquartered on the Mississippi Gulf Coast whose mission is to equip students with the knowledge and applicable life skills that will enable them to succeed in any career path after they finish their secondary education. Whether post-secondary education or a vocational career, students who have participated at least 4 years will have the tools and practical experience to be effective students, managers and leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) related career fields.
Our program provides the resources students need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in an out-of-school club setting. This allows participation from students that might not have these resources readily available in a traditional classroom environment. Students build the ROV from a kit comprised of low-cost, easily accessible parts, following a curriculum that teaches basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme. Throughout the project, students will learn engineering concepts, problem solving, project management, teamwork, and technical applications.
Additionally, building an underwater ROV teaches basic skills in ship and submarine design and encourages students to explore naval architecture and marine and ocean engineering principles. It also teaches basic science and engineering concepts and tool safety and technical procedures. Students learn important engineering and design skills and are exposed to careers that are possible in naval architecture and naval, ocean, and marine engineering.
- Integrates STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) into a single learning program
- Allows discovery of theory-to-practice through application of engineering principles
- Teaches students to properly manage any project using key concepts from the Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)
- Prepares students for public speaking through oral presentations of knowledge gained through the engineering design process
- Builds leadership skills in young men and women
- Builds teamwork and inspires young minds
- Introduces STEM career discussions
THE IMPORTANCE OF MARINE TECHNOLOGY
Marine technology is the application of science and engineering knowledge, tools, and techniques to the understanding and use of the marine environment.
The ocean economy is large and diverse, accounting for twenty percent of our national economy and supporting one in six jobs in the country.
Marine technology plays a vital role in supporting the ocean economy, from national security to transportation and commerce, energy and exploration activities, telecommunications, recreation and tourism, fisheries and aquaculture, search and recovery, environmental assessment and regulation, and research. Although these economic sectors are diverse, the technology supporting them has many similarities. These similarities include the collection and use of remotely sensed data; the use of advanced computing systems, such as GIS, for organizing and managing data; and the use of electronics and microelectronics for power, controls, and miniaturization in a remote, harsh environment. The need for highly qualified technical professionals who can design, build, operate, and maintain this technology has never been greater. A concerted effort is required to ensure that our workforce is prepared for an economy currently and increasingly dependent on ocean activities and the technologies that make these activities feasible.