From June 22-24, students from around the province and the world will
demonstrate their technical savvy as they compete in the MATE Center’s Sixth Annual International ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicles) Competition.
The Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland (MI) and the National Research Council’s Institute for Ocean Technology (IOT) are hosting the event. This is the first time the event has been held outside of the United States and over 300 students from Canada, the U.S., Hong Kong, Scotland, Spain and Iran are anxiously awaiting their turn to impress the competition’s judging panel which consists of professionals from industrial, scientific, government, education, and exploration organizations. They will evaluate the ability of the teams to successfully complete the mission tasks and effectively communicate an understanding of design and construction of their vehicles.
Three high schools will proudly represent Newfoundland and Labrador in the competition – Heritage Collegiate from Lethbridge, Carbonear Collegiate from Carbonear and Eric G. Lambert School from Churchill Falls. They will be joined by defending post-secondary champions, the Eastern Edge Robotics Team, comprised of students from the Marine Institute, Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic. They will be looking to win their third consecutive title at this year’s competition.
Over the last six months, guided by instructors and mentors, the students have been working diligently to develop their ROVs. The underwater robots they create are nothing short of amazing and the missions they will undertake are modelled after real-life challenges faced by scientists and engineers in ocean observing, scientific research and off-shore industry operations in polar areas. The missions will be staged in three different facilities: the Flume Tank at the Marine Institute; and the ice tank and tow tank at the Institute for Ocean Technology.
These fantastic facilities are allowing the competition to simulate real-world environmental conditions like it never has before.
Organized by the National Science Foundation’s Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center and the Marine Technology Society (MTS) ROV Committee, the ROV competition encourages students to develop science, technology, engineering, and math skills by showing them real-world applications of these subjects.
“St. John’s boasts a venue that is uniquely capable of emulating a polar environment,” said Jill Zande, MATE Center ROV Competition co-ordinator. I’ve never seen such world-class facilities located within a 5 kilometre radius before.
The public are invited to view the competition live from the Marine Institute’s Flume Tank viewing area, on Saturday, June 23, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Sunday, June 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Viewing will also be available via closed circuit television at IOT on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Free parking is available at both locations.