APTOS – Local students from Mountain Home School Charter and Glacier High School Charter performed in the top 10 at the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) regional Underwater Robotics contest, held in Aptos, on May 3.
With over 60 teams in action from all over California, the level of competition was quite high at the 13th Annual MATE event.
The MATE Center in Monterey uses underwater robots – also known as remotely operated vehicles or ROVs – to teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and prepare students for technical careers. Working in partnership with the Marine Technology Society ROV Committee, MATE created the ROV competition as a way to engage stsudents in STEM and expose them to science and technology careers.
They also encourage students to develop and apply technical, teamwork and problem solving skills. Organizers povide funds, materials, and technical expertise to support student learning and provide industry with skilled individuals who can fill workforce needs.
The MATE competition requires students from all over the world to design and build ROVs to tackle missions modeled after scenarios from the ocean workplace. Students are challenged to think of themselves as entrepreneurs and transform their teams into companies that manufacture, market and sell products.
In addition to engineering their ROVs, students were required to prepare technical reports, poster displays, and engineering presentations that were delivered to working professionals who serve as competition judges.
All teams were judged in three areas: engineering presentations, poster display and actual performance of designated missions in the pool. Students built their robots completely from scratch, learning to solder circuit boards, and to understand electrical concepts, along with water dynamics and physics. This year’s theme focused on exploring the Great Lakes: Shipwrecks, Sinkholes and Conservation in the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Mountain Home School Charter sent three “Scout” level teams to this year’s competition. They competed against 39 other scout teams. All three teams scored in the top ten overall. Two teams, Team H2O and Team OTD tied for 1st place for the engineering poster display. They received special prizes, as well as a plaque.
Students were instructed that their poster display should be an informative, clear and concise marketing presentation about their company and how it designed and built the specialized tools to complete the mission tasks. During the competition, the students’ company displays were evaluated and scored by judges knowledgeable in science, business, government, industry and education.
Team H20 and Team OTD were the only two teams out of 39 to receive a perfect score.
In final rankings, which included all three judged areas, Team H2O came in 6th place, Team CEC, Inc. ranked 8th place, and Team OTD placed 9th overall.
Mountain Home School and Glacier High School also participated in a more advanced level of robotics called the Navigators. The Navigator level teams had more complicated missions and were required to navigate entirely using underwater cameras.
Glacier High School Team the Techno Geeks scored 3rd in underwater mission and 2nd for their poster display. Overall they placed 3rd in final rankings.
Mountain Home School Team Underwater Innovation scored 3rd in the engineering presentation and 5th place overall.
The MATE competition challenges K-12, community college, and university students from all over the world to design and build ROVs to tackle missions modeled after scenarios from the ocean workplace.
The competition’s class structure of beginner, intermediate, and advanced complements the education pipeline by providing students with the opportunity to build upon their skills – and the application of those skills – as they engineer increasingly more complex ROVs for increasingly more complex mission tasks.
Mountain Home and Glacier High school organizers were very pleased at the high level of commitment from all the teams. The ability of teams to work together and solve problems as they arose on their own developed greatly. Parents commented that they saw their children grow in confidence and independence.
At the Scout level, Team H2O included Emma Hagen, Olivia Hagen, Daniel Peters and Abigail Rumohr. Also Scout leve was Team OTD, consisting of Gabriella Lazarcheff, Colin LaTour, and Corey Carlson.
As for the Nagivators, Team Underwater Innovation was comprised of Callen Moon, Clayton Moon, Connor Wallace, Luke Avent and Justin Talley. Navigator Team Techno Geeks were Christian Mendoza, Connor Heidebrechts and Emily Anderson. Congratulations to all participants.
For more information email Assistant Principal/Charter Teacher Eric Hagen. Hagen is also the technology Coordinator-Western Sierra Charter Schools.