Hunting Rogue Lionfish

Lionfish are invading Florida! This invasive species has no natural predators and is destroying reef habitats in the Atlantic. They are projected to expand into the Gulf of Mexico. There’s a nice summary of the problem on Wikipedia.

In partnership with Middleton High School, we have obtained a grant from the Paul Allen Foundation for the donation of a submersible robot from OpenROV.

OpenROV v2.5
OpenROV v2.5

At Middleton High School in Tampa, more than 80% of students are on free or reduced lunch and live in an urban setting. Their exposure to new engineering experiences is extremely limited, giving them the tools to build a new project and use it is like fulfilling a dream for them.

Middleton High School STEM Club
Middleton High School STEM Club

Our goal is to work with them to build the robot, teach it to identify lionfish, and give it some autonomy to survey the gulf and the ocean in order to measure migration of populations of this destructive species.

Support us on projects like this! We are currently raising funds through a Kickstarter Campaign. We’re over 50% funded after just five days but we want to secure it and start planning for bigger and better things. Any amount helps. While you’re at it, push it out to your social networks in twitter, instagram, reddit, facebook, … Over 50% of our funding is already from outside of Tampa Bay. You’d never know who might be inspired to help!

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