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Dr. Tivey, Prof. Ucci, and pilot Dudley Foster gathering with cadets after Mr. Foster's presentation at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy

The outside speakers were used as "expert witnesses" and the students were informed that a group of VIP speakers would come during the semester to address topics critical to their research mission. The students were required to develop a question to ask the speaker and to report the question and answer in their weekly reports. Usually, all three groups of students gathered to hear an outside speaker and transportation was provided by school buses or vans.

Consulting with experts began the first week of class when Alvin submarine pilot Dudley Foster addressed the students. The students quickly understood the mechanical engineering features of the robotic arms on Alvin, the high pressures at the ocean floor, the low temperatures at the ocean floor, etc. Many of the design parameters for the project were determined in the first week, based on Mr. Foster's specifications and information.