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REF NO.: 177

SUBJECT: High schools compete for top ROV prize at Marine Institute
DATE: May 8, 2007

After months of strategy and hard work, high schools from across the province are going to find out if their Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) is built to win.
Competitors from 16 high schools will vie for the top prize at this year’s MATE Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) Regional Competition, taking place May 11-12, 2007 at the Marine Institute in St. John’s.
The competition is designed to challenge students to design, build, program, and pilot an ROV to perform a series of tasks like those performed by an ROV in an industrial setting. Students will operate their custom-built ROVs in a simulated polar environment at the Marine Institute’s flume tank. The top two winners will go on to compete at an international ROV competition in St. John’s in June. 
Opening ceremonies for the regional competition will take place Friday, May 11 at 5:30 p.m., with the competition beginning at 6:30 p.m. The event continues on Saturday, May 12 at 8:30 a.m. with teams competing throughout the day followed by closing ceremonies and awards at 5:30 p.m.
The Marine Institute and the Institute for Ocean Technology are hosting the 2007 International Competition in St. John’s June 22-24. This is the first time ever this competition will be held outside of the United States. The institute, along with the City of St. John’s and local industry partners, will host over 600 students, mentors and ROV companies during this event. 
Last year, two provincial high school teams competed at the 2007 International Competition at the NASA Johnson Space Center. First time competitors Heritage Collegiate from Lethbridge, won the Design Elegance Award for their ROV design. Gonzaga High School of St. John’s turned in a top-five finish in the mission tasks among the 25 teams competing from Canada, the United States and China. 
The regional ROV competition is sponsored by the Marine Institute and the Marine Advanced Technology Education Centre. A number of local companies are also supporting high school teams including Coastal Connections, DF Barnes, Electronics Centre, GRI Simulations, Marport, Oceaneering, and ProDive/Acergy. The MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) Centre co-ordinates an annual international student ROV competition and a network of regional ROV contests across the U.S. and Canada. In addition to being fun and educational, these competitions connect students and educators with employers and working professionals from marine industries, highlight marine-related career opportunities, and promote the development of technical, problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork skills.
Media agencies are encouraged to send representatives to this weekend’s events.

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