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REF NO.: 182

SUBJECT: Marine Institute hosts junior high MATE ROV competition
DATE: April 14, 2011

The Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) of Memorial University will host a Marine Advanced Technology Education Centre (MATE) Remotely Operated Vehicle Scout competition for junior high students on April 15-16.
The competition takes place at the Marine Institute’s flume tank, and the media and public are invited to attend. 
            Taking part in the opening ceremonies will be Paul Leonard, president, Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd and a Memorial University graduate; Dr. Nicholas Krouglicof, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University; Glenn Blackwood, executive director, Marine Institute; and Dwight Howse, head, School of Ocean Technology, MI.
            “The event gives junior high school students from across the province the opportunity to design, build and operate a remotely operated vehicle to execute specified tasks defined by the Marine Advanced Technology Education Centre of Monterey, California,” said Mr. Howse. “The goals of the competition are to broaden student interest in ocean technology careers and build a new generation of ROV teams for the MATE ROV high school and post-secondary competitions.”
            The theme of the event will highlight the role ROVs play in the offshore oil and gas industry, with a focus on the challenges faced during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The mission tasks include capping a wellhead and sampling organisms.
Mr. Howse says the event for junior high students is a way to showcase the career paths they can follow at the Marine Institute.
            “It’s a matter of getting the students interested in the oceans, science and technology,” he said. “There are many career options available for them at the Marine Institute, not just in ROV technology but in all aspects of the ocean industries. We want to make sure the students consider the oceans for potential career paths.”
            Twenty-six schools from Newfoundland and Labrador will send teams to the event, up from last year when MI first made this competition open to junior high students. The Marine Institute has been hosting ROV competitions for high school students since 2006 and interest is always growing from students and schools in the province.
            “Whenever you get something that is different, something that is exciting and something that gets the kids involved, students will want to be a part of that,” said Mr. Howse. “Teachers also pursue these opportunities for their students. This enables their students to be really engaged in a project.”
            The opening ceremonies of the junior high ROV competition begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 15. The completion will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 16.
            Teams taking part include Amalgamated Academy (Bay Roberts); Beaconsfield Junior High (St. John's); Belanger Memorial (Upper Ferry); Botwood Collegiate (Botwood); Brother Rice Junior High (St. John's); Clarenville Middle School; Crescent Collegiate (South Dildo); E.A. Butler All Grade (McKays); Frank Roberts Junior High (Foxtrap); Heritage Collegiate (Lethbridge); Hillview Academy (Norris Arm South); Holy Cross School (Eastport); Holy Redeemer Elementary (Spaniard's Bay); JM Olds Collegiate (Twillingate); Lewisporte Intermediate; Mobile Central High; Mount Pearl 
Intermediate; Pearce Junior High (Salt Pond); Roncalli Central High (Avondale); St. Francis School (Harbour Grace); St. Lawrence Academy (St. Lawrence); St. Mark's School (King's Cove); St. Paul's Junior High (St. John's); St. Peter's Junior High (Mount Pearl); Stella Maris Academy (Trepassey) and Villanova Junior High (Conception Bay South).
            This year's junior high ROV competition is supported by the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development and ExxonMobil.

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