Submerging for STEM

• Belinda. Mike and the Dragons with Mike Myers from REA who is a key figure in the whole SUBS in Schools project in Australia.

Despite their imposing name, the North Lake Viper Dragons went into the 2019 SUBS in Schools Technology Challenge 2019 WA state finals with a determination to learn rather than to win. It turns out they did a bit of both.

The Marine Industry School Pathways Program initiates, facilitates and supports the SUBS in Schools project in WA which is the only state to hold a mini ROV competition.

Teams in the ROV professional class section of the competition are required to design and operate a remote controlled underwater vehicle (ROV) – the task also requires the students to market and answer questions about their project and produce a folio of their drawings and other work.


Hitesh, Kenny, Diana and Jason were the faces of the Dragons but they had many supporters in the months of preparations for the challenge. Belinda led the project with plenty of help from Mike and lab assistant Jenny. “I also received moral support and guidance from lots of people including Nicholas, Tracey, Craig, Dean, Greg, Bob, Mary and John,” Belinda said. The work of other students including Danni (music), Yuki (art) and general supporter Dyrel was also vital and, in fact, turned this from a STEM* project into a STEAM** project.

In the state finals held at North Lake, with the sea trials in the newly revamped pool, the Dragons won two awards – Best Sea Trial and Best Manufactured ROV.

NLSC News spoke to two of the Dragons before the awards were announced.

“It was a hard journey and we dedicated a lot of time and hard work to this,” Hitesh said, “We were not greedy for winning, all we wanted was extra knowledge and to support each other to learn.”

“It definitely brought the best out in us,” said Kenny, “I think it connected us on a different level, a level of creativity that enabled us to explore new ideas and to be able to assemble our ideas in the flesh. SUBS in Schools was a fruitful opportunity. I’m glad I was part of it.”

At the award presentation the chair of the judging panel Peter Brown from event sponsor REA reminded students that it was ok to know things. “Learn from those who inspire you,” he said.

* STEM – Science Technology Engineering Mathematics

** STEAM – Science Technology Engineering the Arts Mathematics

North Lake is a lead school in the Marine Industry School Pathways Program supporting student STEM pathways to Defence Industries.