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      Students win award for underwater robot

      For the past three years, Dollar Bay High School students like Abby and Megan Kangas have been a part of the Student Organization of Aquatic Robotics.

      It's a program that allows students to build remote operated vehicles.

      "Right now we're partnering with Isle Royale. So they're asking us for something, in this case an ROV, to detect for zebra mussel, and so we work on getting them what they need and then making it better," said Xena Cortez, student and director of S.O.A.R.

      Zebra mussels are an invasive species that cause damage to the Great Lakes.

      On Wednesday, the hardworking students won an award from the National Park Service.

      "This award is called the Hartzog Award, and this award is for the outstanding youth group volunteer of the year and this award is for the Midwest Region of the Park Service," said Valerie Martin, park ranger for Isle Royale.

      The ROVs can travel 20 feet underwater with a remote control. Students say the goal is to get the ROV to travel 100 feet by the end of the school year.

      "I think it's absolutely phenomenal, and then the fact that they're designing these things, not just to win a competition, but they're designing them to help other people, is truly a testament to their will and drive to improve and make the community that they live in better," said Matt Zimmer, teacher.

      The students' ROV design will compete against other designs in nationals in November.