Seaperch RoboticsSeaperch Robotics: Students work on a marine robot through the SeaPerch program at Atlantis Charter School, one of many activities for local participants in the First Annual Southcoast MA Mini Maker Faire on September 18 at the Fall River YMCA.

FALL RIVER – Atlantis Charter School’s (ACS) new High School hopes to inspire students to become “makers” through use of robotics and other activities centered around science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics programs (STEAM).

With this in mind ACS will dive into the Fall River Makers Movement with hands on activities centered around land and sea-based robotics as part of the First Annual Southcoast MA Mini Maker Faire to be held at the Fall River YMCA on Sunday, September 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At the event students and adults will be able to drive underwater robots through an obstacle course pool side or with other robots used in their interactive curriculum.

Atlantis Charter School plans to establish a best-practice 9-12 urban public high school that leverages the spirit of transformative systemic change that is rooted in establishing personalized, student-centered small-learning communities (PSC-SLC’s),” said Robert Beatty, Executive Director of ACS. “Maker Fairs do just that and in their own way, they are visionary examples of the PSC-SLC concept.”

The PSC-SLC model is an amalgamation of two different pedagogies that focus on changing the traditional model of education, where it is an individual endeavor with a classroom centered on the teacher, to a collaborative one allowing students to work at their own level and learning through their strengths.

The pairing between the schools goals and those of the Makers movement is too strong for ACS to resist.

“Simply put, is a simple but powerful “playbook” that prioritizes the “students first” agenda with an engaging classroom-focused learning environment where teachers, parents and community partners are the most valuable resources,” said Beatty. “Where a community of learners possess an unrelenting resolve and dedication to continuous improvement.”

There are two programs in particular that they are hoping to highlight through this program. The first highlights Blue Technology (very popular in this region)– research that focuses on technology meant to be deployed in marine environments – through the SeaPerch Program.

SeaPerch focuses on guiding students to the creation of a remote operated vehicle for use in the water that they will work on inside and outside of school and in-school setting.

“The SeaPerch Program provides students with the opportunity to learn about robotics, engineering, science, and mathematics (STEM) while building an underwater ROV as part of a science and engineering technology curriculum,” according to the SeaPerch website. “Throughout the project, students will learn engineering concepts, problem solving, teamwork, and technical applications.”

SeaPerch is supported through grants and training provided by the Raytheon Corporation.

The second area robotics will be presented at the Southcoast MA Mini Maker Faire will be using Ergobot’s, which are a small controllable robotic platforms with wheels motors and controllers and adaptable for a variety of sensors and other cool gadgets. Typically you drive them from a handheld device like an iPad. Participants will be able to navigate through a variety of interactive activities and compete for rewards.

Through their hands on robotics activities and other STEAM curriculum, Atlantis Charter School is hoping to instill a culture of making within the students who pass through their programs. Since the Southcoast MA Mini Maker Faire is an event focused precisely on making, it was an opportunity ACS feels was important for their mission and commitment to growing an innovative and unique area high school program.

“The Maker Faire is a fun way for our students to learn how to experiment, troubleshoot potential mistakes, strive for continuous improvements, and learn how to persevere so that their ideas can become successful,” said Beatty. “The Maker Faire will provide a unique opportunity for our students to learn about and share their personal vision and passion for applying their hands on skills to create, design, fabricate, and test their ideas and inventions.

“By doing so they can also learn how to become expert problem solvers, as they will quickly learn that even the best ideas don't always work the first time,” he concluded.

For more information about the Southcoast Mini Maker Faire and the planned activities visit.


The Southcoast MA Mini Maker Faire is put on by a volunteer committee and supported by the following community partners and sponsoring organizations:

Make Magazine, Fall River YMCA, Atlantis Charter School, UMass Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, SNEEF (Southern New England Entrepreneur Forum), The Business Innovation Center, CNP Integrations, Mallard Printing, Fall River Community TV, Bristol Community College, Aha Fall River, Narrows Center for the Arts, Tinker Bristol, City of Fall River, TJ’s Music, The Childeren’s Museum, EforAll, Northeast Engravers Suppoy Co.

And many more…

Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker Movement.  It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.

Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers.  They are of all ages and backgrounds. The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.

The original Maker Faire event was held in San Mateo, CA and in 2016 celebrated its eleventh annual show with some 1300 makers and 150,000 people in attendance. World Maker Faire New York, the other flagship event, has grown in five years to 900+ makers and 90,000 attendees.  Thirty-two larger scale Maker Faires occur in cities around the world—Detroit, Atlanta, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, and Shenzhen to name a few— and over 150 community-driven, independently organized Mini Maker Faires are now being produced in the United States and in 34 other countries around the world.

For info about the Southcoast MA Mini Maker Faire:

Contact Chris Nielsen: 401-662-1035

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