Accokeek, MD–Kids Into Discovering Science (KIDS), a Charles County based nonprofit fostering hands-on K-12 learning in STEM and project management, has been working on a human-powered submarine throughout the COVID-19 quarantine. After months of virtual meetings and socially distanced work sessions, the group was able to test the youth-designed propulsion system in a local outdoor pool, the Moyaone Pool, over Labor Day weekend. The test was a success!
KIDS has fielded several entries in the International Submarine Races (ISR), held biennially at Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock’s David Taylor Model Basin. The races attract dozens of teams, mostly from colleges and universities, from all over the world. A few high school teams also participate. KIDS has been the only Independent (not affiliated with a school) team in recent races. KIDS member youth come from Charles County, Prince George’s County and even a few students from Fairfax County, and represent public, private and home schools.
At the last ISR, the gauntlet was laid down by US Navy personnel to develop non propeller propulsion systems for ISR entries. KIDS youth took up the challenge, looking at nature and human movement to develop a novel propulsion system. The Moyaone Pool test demonstrated that the design could work. The test also gave the youth an opportunity to work together as a team, something that has been challenging during COVID-19 restrictions.
In addition to the human-powered submarine team, KIDS has fielded rocketry, robotics and soap box derby teams. They have also built and tested Sea Perch and Sea Glide underwater vehicles and worked on Arduino projects. KIDS has hosted or co-hosted a number of outreach events including take-it-apart days, library STEM programs, a Sea Perch competition, community presentations, and a number of hands-on science events.
For more information about the organization, please visit the Kids Into Discovering Science website, kidsinscience.org, or their facebook page. KIDS can also be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.