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The PLOCAN on-shore offices in Taliarte (Telde) hosted the kick-off meeting of the ROVINO project: Low Cost Submarine Robotics with Arduino Technology, which is part of the Canary Islands Oceanic Platform . This Project is working in co-operation with the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECyT in Spanish) – the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, the “Obra Social” Charity Foundation of La Caixa bank, the Cabildo (Island Government) of Gran Canaria and the Canary Island Agency of Research, Innovation and Information Society (ACIISI), and it has attracted 55 schools to take part.

The ROVINO project aims to bring an educational project to the classroom, based on building a remote controlled, programmable submarine robot with low cost tools with open code software and free hardware. Arduino has been selected as the free hardware platform. ROVINO is a learning-by-project model, enhancing, galvanising and motivating students from a different point of view as submarine robotics offers an ample field that stimulates creativity among students, offering incentives for using their intuition and scientific vocation and encourages them to continue their research outside of the classroom.

The meeting was opened by the director of PLOCAN, Octavio Llinás, co-ordinator of the ROVINO project. The next speakers were Eduardo Quevedo, PLOCAN’s head of Training and Dissemination and project manager of the ROVINO project, who presented the project and its objectives, and Xavier Cufí Sole and Eduard Muntaner Perich, teachers from the VICOROB group (Computer Vision and Robotics Group) of the University of Girona, who presented Scratch as an open-ware educational tool.

The meeting closed with a discussion on including ROVINO in the Canary Island Ministry of Education’s programme of teaching projects as a nationwide representative example. 17 teachers from 15 schools (primary, secondary, 6th form and vocational training) took part in the debate, representing the 55 schools taking part in the project. For Gran Canaria, the meeting was attended by the Atlantic School Garoé, the Heidelberg school, colegio Norte, Sagrado Corazón de Tafira, Amurga High School, Francisco Hernández Monzón High School, Guía High School, José Arencibia Gil High School, Politécnico High School, Schamann High School, Tamaraceite High School and Valsequillo High School; from Tenerife, the meeting was attended by Ichasagua High School; from Fuerteventura, S. Diego de Alcalá High School, and from El Hierro, Garoé High School.