Exploring STEM & Building ROV’s at The Aquarium of the Pacific


On Sunday, we had a fantastic visit to the Long Beach Aquarium. As we arrived, we reviewed the schedule of events. One event, “Build a Sub -discover how scientists explore the deep sea by building your own remotely controlled sub”,  immediately had my attention. The girls and I practically ran through the aquarium to make sure we got into the event. To my surprise, we were one of three families to participate. (I guess the running wasn’t necessary).


The hosts divided the 4 kids into two groups. They had an example of a Remote Operating Vehicle (ROV) and briefly explained the concept to the kids. He give them 45 minutes to build their ROV, then he gave them a bucket filled with PVC pipes, elbows, T’s and pieces of cut pool noodles.

They had to build a ROV that could support three engines and would be capable of exploring underwater. Once they built their ROV they would be able test their ROV in a pool. (One of the aquarium staff was kind enough to give a bucket to my 4 year old so she could build as well)

Now, at this point, I was so excited and my thought was “This is a robotics class that is included in the price of admission, why isn’t this event filled to capacity”? My only guess is that people don’t know everything this event entails. This is much more than a presentation, this is a hands-on robotics project. 

My 7 year old and an 8 year old teamed up and quickly went to work on their project. They worked very well together. The kids combined design principles for underwater marine vessels using STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) concepts.wpid-2014-08-20_12.16.48.jpg

They were provided with enough time and resources to build, test, re-examine and redesign their ROV if they wanted to, and they did. They taught themselves fundamental skills of underwater-vessel design, problem solving and teamwork.

My little one was hard at work and built a rectangular shaped vessel loaded with pool noodles. She said she wanted to make it float, and it did! Even my husband even got in on the fun.


If you happen to be thinking of visiting the Aquarium, do it now! This program is part of  “Summer of Wonder” and will only run through the end of this month. It’s offered 3 times a day, 10:30, 12:30 and 3:30. This is a great opportunity for kids, watching my girls think and execute their plan was thrilling.


Hours: Open 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m., Every Day of the Year, Except Christmas Day, During the Grand Prix of Long Beach (April 17, 18, and 19, 2015).

You may purchase Aquarium tickets upon your arrival at our ticket windows in front of the Aquarium. You may also order your tickets online now. For phone reservations, please call (562) 590-3100 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PT. You can now purchase online tickets to our 4D movies and Behind-the-Scenes Tours. The Aquarium accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.


General Admission | BUY NOW $28.95 $14.95 $25.95


100 Aquarium Way,
Long Beach, CA 90802


The parking structure for the Aquarium is on the water side of Shoreline Drive between Chestnut Place and Aquarium Way.

  • From the 710 Freeway, follow direction signs to the Aquarium. The entrance to Aquarium parking is on the right on Shoreline just before the roller coaster bridge at Aquarium Way.
  • From the south, take Shoreline Drive to Aquarium Way. Left on Aquarium Way. The entrance is on the right 100 feet beyond the dolphin fountain.
  • Additional parking: When the Aquarium lot is full, you will be directed to The Pike parking structure. The entrance is on Chestnut and Shoreline, just across the street from the Aquarium’s main lot.
  • Click here for more parking information.

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