News Releases

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REF NO.: 219

SUBJECT: Provincial teams heading to International Underwater Robot Competition

DATE: June 20,2008

Students from across the province are heading to sunny San Diego Calif., to showcase their award-winning remotely operated vehicle (ROV) designs at the 2008 MATE International ROV Competition to be held at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography–University of California from June 26-28.
            Fourteen provincial teams competed for the honour of attending this international event in May at the Regional MATE ROV Competition, organized by the Marine Institute in collaboration with the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center in California.
            With this year’s theme being Diving to the Deep: Uncovering the Mysteries of Mid-Ocean Ridges, teams will be presented with real-life challenges faced by scientists and engineers working in these environments. They will focus on hydrothermal vents, which are like hot springs in the seafloor, discharging continuous streams of hot fluids from deep beneath the Earth’s crust into the surrounding cold ocean water.
            In its seventh year, the MATE International ROV Competition has grown to include dozens of teams from all over the world. Representing this province will be Stephenville High School, from Stephenville; Heritage Collegiate from Lethbridge; and Eric G. Lambert from Churchill Falls. They will be joined by 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 claim their third title at this year’s competition. 
            “The underwater robots they create are nothing short of amazing,” said Dwight Howse, head of the Marine Institute’s School of Ocean Technology and team mentor. “The goal of the competition is to encourage students to learn science, technology, engineering, and math by showing them how these subjects can be applied in the real world.”
            Mr. Howse is confident that hard work and dedication of the students will pay off and that they will excel at the competition.
            “We are excited to be able to offer students the opportunity to explore the advanced technologies being used in ocean activities and showcase the career opportunities that these technologies afford them,” he added. “It is also a great way to support our youth and encourage environmental stewardship, innovation and creativity.”
            Headquartered at Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, Calif., the MATE Center is a national partnership of community colleges, universities, high schools, employers, and working professionals whose mission is to improve marine technical education and meet marine workforce needs.

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For more information, please contact Stephanie Barrett, public relations and communications officer, Fisheries and Marine Institute, at 778-0677, stephanie.barrett@mi.mun.ca, or Kimberley Thornhill, educational marketing co-coordinator, Fisheries and Marine Institute, at 778-0544, 691-9221, Kim.Thornhill@mi.mun.ca.

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