Lincoln City: Students to Showcase Underwater Robots at LC Community Center during Statewide Competition
Future marine science innovators on parade in Lincoln City next month
More than 150 elementary, middle, high, and college students have formed 27 teams and will bring their underwater robots to the Lincoln City Community Center on May 10 to compete in the annual Oregon Regional MATE Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) contest.
These teams, which have spent the past few months designing and building their underwater vehicles, will be among students around the world participating in 23 regional contests supported by the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center. Qualifying participants will earn the chance to advance to MATE’s International ROV Competition June 26 – 28, at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Michigan.
Coordinated by Oregon Sea Grant Staff, the Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition encourages students from Astoria to Bandon, Bend to The Dalles, to develop and apply science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills as they create ROVs—tethered underwater robots used in ocean exploration, scientific research, and marine technology. They will complete missions that simulate real-world tasks.
This year’s competition centers around ROVs exploring and documenting shipwrecks and conserving national maritime heritage sites such as the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, where more than 50 shipwrecks are submerged. This competition helps students understand how chemical, biological, and physical conditions can affect such archaeological sites.
Teams participating in the Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition will perform a variety of underwater missions, piloting their ROV to identify a simulated shipwreck, collect microbial samples, inventory invasive species, and remove debris. Students are challenged to think like entrepreneurs and form companies that develop creative solutions for engineering and constructing an ROV to document and explore a newly discovered wreck site.
During the process, students develop teamwork, creative thinking, and problem solving skills to make them competitive in today’s global workplace. This requires them to solve problems in new and innovative ways, work as a team, and understand all aspects of business operations; all important 21st century skills.
Teams from the following schools and organizations are participating in the competition, which will be held on May 10th at the Lincoln City Community Center in Lincoln City:
Bandon High School
Cheldelin Middle School (Corvallis)
Clatsop Community College (Astoria)
Eddyville Charter School
Life Christian School (Aloha)
Linn-Benton Community College (Albany)
Meek Pro Tech High School (Portland)
Oregon State University (Corvallis)
Summit High School (Bend)
Taft 7-12 (Lincoln City)
Tahola Middle School (Tahola, WA)
The Dalles High School
Toledo Jr/Sr High School
Waldport High School
Wasco County 4-H
The Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition is supported by many sponsors, including Oregon State University, the Oregon Coast Regional STEM Center, Lincoln County School District, the Marine Technology Society-Oregon Chapter, the Siletz Charitable Contribution Fund, the Cascade Chapter of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, and Tanger Outlet Mall. Local marine technology professionals and engineers volunteer as judges for the competition, evaluating the students’ ROVs, poster displays, and engineering presentations. Numerous other volunteers donate their time each year, serving as divers and support staff for the competition, making it a community-wide effort.
The public is invited to come out on May 10th and cheer for their local teams. For more information, please contact Tracy Crews at OregonCoastSTEM@oregonstate.edu.