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At Whitney Elementary, STEM is our passion!

We implement a robotics project in an after school program called Underwater Robotics and is offered to our middle school students in grade 6-8. Students in the underwater robotics club explore the underwater world while strengthening their STEM skills as they learn how to build an underwater robot.  

We also have a Robotics Club for 3rd -5th grade students in order to enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts.  From November to April students meet twice an week and once a month on Saturdays at a nearby High School for pool access to learn about different science components such electricity, physics, biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate), and water forces, water natural phenomena, and underwater volcanoes.  

Technology is utilized throughout the project as students blog their ideas about the engineering of their robot online, use Google Earth to pinpoint locations ROV’s are used around the world, and use 3D software to create 3-D models renderings of their ROV.  

Engineering is the focal point of this program as students design and construct their very own remotely operated vehicle using everyday items they are familiar with such as PVC plumbing pipes. Students also design and customize their remote control to drive the ROV. 

Mathematics is present throughout the program as students are engaged in problem solving from the aspect of the underwater missions. Students use measurement and estimation on an ongoing basis as they learn to manipulate the ROV underwater and during the construction of the vehicle.

On April 26th, our students had the opportunity to showcase their months of hard work and ingenuity  in a competition with other middle school and high school students through the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center (MATE) ROV competition. 

During this time students are engaged and judged in 3 areas:  pool missions, engineering presentation, and a poster design that includes their persuasive rationale for deciding to design and construct their ROV the way that they did.

Our Team won 1st place in the MATE Midwest Regional Underwater Robotics 2014 Competition. This accomplishment qualified our team to compete at the international underwater robotics competition on June 2014 in Alpena, Michigan with schools from other states and countries.

It is our goal that the Underwater Robotics program continues with strong partnerships with the Shedd Aquarium, Purdue University  to increase our students’ critical thinking skills, expose them to the field of engineering and STEM concepts, and better prepare them to become global productive citizens.


We are committed to inspiring children grades Kindergarten through 8th grade to consider careers as Scientists, Technologists, Engineers, and Mathematicians through authentic inquiry based learning experiences that promotes 21st century learning skills, innovative technology use, and lifelong learning.

Our STEM curriculum is driven by problem solving and discovery which builds our students critical thinking skills and encourages them to be independent learners and thinkers.

We also have a strong STEM Underwater Robotics Team and we compete with other elementary schools and high schools within the City of Chicago. During the summer of 2012 our school won first place and competed at the International MATE Competition in Orlando, Florida against teams from schools from other states and countries. 

Our team won 1St. place in the MATE Midwest Regional Underwater Robotics Competition.  This accomplishment qualified our Eli Whitney Team to compete at the International Underwater robotics Competition during  June 2014 in Alpena, Michigan.

To see our STEM Goals, please click under "STEM GOAL".  Furthermore if you would like to see our "Technology Word Wall", please click under "Technology Word Wall."

Please click here to see the Technology Brochure