Lastovo Underwater Robot to Help Children Explore What Lies Beneath

Lauren Simmonds

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As Morski writes, the Lastovo Elementary School is now richer for an underwater robot with which children will collect valuable information about the marine environment and thus become real little scientists. From this week on, the younger residents of this protected area will have the opportunity to explore their marine and coastal environment and record the changes they see over time, thanks to the project “Civic Science: Measurements and Observations of the Sea”.

”Senegalese scientist Baba Dium once said that in the end we’ll preserve only what we love, love only what we understand, and we’ll understand only what we’ve been taught. WWF felt that this project was at the core of that thought, so we decided to participate in it in a partnership. Children learn much faster than adults do, and they’ll inherit this sea in which our traditions and heritage are deeply anchored,” said Mosor Prvan, head of the marine programme at WWF Adria.

This project also builds technological literacy and prepares children for 21st century occupations in science and technology.

”This Lastovo underwater robot has the ability to dive to a depth of 100 metres and work for up to almost two hours at a time. The robot is controlled by a mobile phone, can record videos and photos, and comes with a robotic arm that can take samples for research purposes. In addition to the Lastovo underwater robot, we also donated a 3D printer to the school to further interest them in STEM technologies, and encourage children to creatively and independently create various models and shapes with this modern technology,” emphasised Paolo Zenzerovic, the project manager at IRIM.

In addition to collecting valuable data from the marine world surrounding Lastovo, this experience will build a sense of responsibility towards the sea in young children and create a generation of future citizens aware of the importance of preserving and quality management of the marine environment.

While we all declaratively love the sea, looking at the negative changes happening is a question of how much we truly understand what’s going on. Through this project, children will have the opportunity to see and understand the consequences of our activities in the Croatian Adriatic. It will give them the opportunity to, through understanding the changes that are taking place, better get to grips with sustainable sea management, love it even more and preserve it in a far better manner than we were able to,” concluded Prvan.

The project “Civil Science: Measurements and Observations of the Sea” which is providing the Lastovo underwater robot is implemented by IRIM – Croatian Makers, the European Centre Wergeland (EWC) from Norway, WWF Adria and HGSS (Croatian Mountain Rescue Service).

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