Winners of Oregon Regional at Lincoln City will head to Pacific Northwest for international contest
Early next month Oregon Sea Grant, the Oregon Coast STEM Center, and the Oregon Chapter of the Marine Technology Society will host a competition at the Lincoln City Community Center for 6th grade through college students, who will compete using underwater robots, known as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), which they designed and built.
The Oregon Regional MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) ROV Competition is an annual event that encourages students from across Oregon to learn and apply science, technology, engineering, and math skills as they develop ROVs to complete missions that simulate real-world problems from the ocean workplace. ROVs are tethered underwater robots used in scientific research, ocean exploration, homeland security, the offshore oil and gas industry, and other industries.
This year’s contest highlights the role that ROVs play in the installation, operation, and maintenance of ocean observing systems, which are collections of high-tech instruments above and below the waves that provide around-the-clock information about what is happening in the ocean. Via fiber optic cable, the data collection equipment continuously communicates information to scientists, engineers and technicians who use it to understand and make predictions about the ocean, coast, and ocean resources. Ocean Observing Systems provide critical information on climate change, toxic algal blooms, tsunamis and other ocean hazards.
Teams participating in the Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition will perform a variety of underwater mission tasks, piloting their ROV to install a simulated power and communications “hub” and scientific instruments in order to complete a seafloor ocean observatory. They will also remove bio-fouling organisms from instruments and perform maintenance on moorings, among other tasks.
Teams from Albany, Astoria, Corbett, Corvallis, The Dalles, Eddyville, Lincoln City, Salem, Toledo, Portland, and Waldport are participating in the competition, which will be held from 8:30 to 4:30 on Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 2150 NE Oar Place in Lincoln City, Oregon. The public is invited to come out for this event and cheer for their local teams.
The Oregon Regional MATE ROV Program is supported by local sponsors, including the Marine Technology Society, the Oregon Coast Regional STEM Center, Oregon State University’s Pre-College Programs, Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators, the Siletz Tribe Charitable Funds, the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Pro-Build, Advanced Research Corporation, and the NOAA Officers Family Association. Local marine technology professionals volunteer as judges for the competition, evaluating the students’ ROVs, poster displays, and engineering presentations.
The Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition is one of 22 regional contests held around the world and managed by the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center. The contest’s winning teams will earn the opportunity to compete in the 12th Annual MATE International ROV Competition, which will be held June 20-22, 2013 at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Washington.