OAKHURST — A group of local students has achieved a high water mark when it comes to remotely operated vehicles.
Altum is a Latin word that means, among other definitions, ‘deep water,’ explains Glacier High School instructor John Rumohr. “It’s also the name of a highly successful underwater robotics team at Glacier High School: Altum Operations. ”
The team’s mentor says Altum Operations has been around for several years, and has been competing under that moniker in regional competitions since 2016.
“Each year they have placed and performed outstandingly,” adds the coach. Sierra News Online first reported on the school’s budding robotics program back in 2013, when principal Eric Hagen took a summer course in robotics instruction and came back with strong enthusiasm for the idea of his students becoming similarly involved.
Now, the team has advanced to the 2019 MATE international ROV competition in Kingsport, Tennessee, to be held June 20 – 22.
The MATE Center uses underwater robots to teach science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and prepare students for technical careers, according to the organization’s website.
Working in partnership with the Marine Technology Society ROV Committee, MATE created the ROV competition as a way to engage students in STEM and expose them to science and technology careers, while encouraging students to develop technical, teamwork and problem solving skills. MATE also may provide funds, materials, and technical expertise to support student learning in order to provide the industry with skilled individuals who can fill workforce needs in the future.
With a pending invitation to compete in the world championships this summer, the team must now complete the effort with a push for fundraising to cover expenses in Tennessee including travel and accommodations.
“While this is great news, it has also presented some significant challenges including preparing for an even more advanced level of competition and significant costs associated with travel and logistics,” continues Rumohr. “The team has full focus and investment in this opportunity and they are preparing their presentation, display boards, and perfecting their operating skills during this critical window.”
Students and families will enthusiastically welcome any level of support, say organizers. To help support this effort or for more information, reach out to John Rumohr via email or call 559 580 1150 by June 5.