Student ROV team takes 3rd place at regional competition

The Salish Sea Robotics ROV Navigator team, Asymmetric Design, won third place at the MATE ROV Regional Competition at the King Co Aquatics Center on Saturday, May 12, 2018.

Team members were Captain Rian McElrath, Courtney VanLieu, and Tommy Mountford. McElrath was captain. This was the third year of competition for McElrath and VanLieu. It was the second year for Mountford but the first year he was able to attend the competition.



The High School, Ranger Division, was strongly represented by Orange Crush II. Captained by Matthew McElrath, and joined by Zach Fincher, Ty Flemming, and Hank Erickson. This team, on their way up the divisions, with various members, has brought home multiple awards, including a 1st, 2nd, and Design Elegance Award.

From the ROV Competition website: 

The Marine Advanced Technology Education  (MATE) Center 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 students in STEM and expose them to science and technology careers

Encourage students to develop and apply technical, teamwork, and problem solving skills

Provide funds, materials, and technical expertise to support student learning provide industry with skilled individuals who can fill workforce needs 

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.

The MATE competition requires students to think of themselves as “entrepreneurs” and transform their teams into companies that manufacture, market, and sell “products.”  In addition to engineering their ROVs, the students are required to prepare technical reports, poster displays, and engineering presentations that are delivered to working professionals who serve as competition judges.

Other MATE underwater robotics educational products include:

Underwater Robotics: Science, Design and Fabrication

Knowledge and Skill Guidelines for prospective ROV professionals

Curriculum and videos

Workshops for teachers and students

Internships for college students

All levels of DIY Kits and free open source plans

Microcontrollers for thrusters and sensors

And much more.

The 2018 MATE International ROV competition will take place Thursday, June 21 - Saturday, June 23 at the Weyerhauser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Washington.

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