News Release

REF NO.: 195

SUBJECT: Marine Institute hosts provincial high school MATE ROV competition

DATE: May 5, 2011

High School students from across the province will flock to the Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) of Memorial University of Newfoundland on Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7, for the Marine Advanced Technology Education Centre (MATE) remotely operated vehicle provincial competition.
            The competition takes place at the Marine Institute’s flume tank, and the media and public are invited to attend.
            “The theme of this weekend’s event is to highlight the role ROVs play in the offshore oil and gas industry,” said Glenn Blackwood, executive director, MI.        “There will be a strong focus on the challenges the devices and their operators faced during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The students will take part in several mission tasks, including removing a damaged riser pipe, capping a wellhead, collecting a water sample, measuring depth and sampling organisms.       “It is a great learning experience and provides the students with a look into the exciting careers that exist with remotely operated vehicles.”
            Students from 14 different high schools will have an opportunity to design, build and operate a remotely operated vehicle to execute specified tasks defined by the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Centre of Monterey, California. 
            The top two teams from this event will earn the opportunity to participate in the MATE International ROV Competition in June of 2011 at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
            “The goals of the high school event are to broaden student interest in ocean technology careers and the field of ROVs in particular,” said Dwight Howse, head, School of Ocean Technology, Marine Institute.
            The provincial high school MATE ROV competition begins on Friday, May 6, with the opening ceremonies in the MI gymnasium at 6 p.m. On Saturday, May 7, the ROV competition takes place from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Marine Institute flume tank. The closing ceremonies and awards banquet begin at 5 p.m. in the MI Cafeteria.
             “At past ROV events we’ve hosted, the excitement and enthusiasm of the students was unmistakable from the opening ceremonies to the awards banquet. We expect this year’s competition to be no different,” said Mr. Howse.
            The provincial high school MATE ROV competition is supported by the Department of Innovation Trade and Rural Development, ExxonMobil, Terra Nova, AMEC, Subsea 7 Inc., GRI Simulations and DOF Subsea. 
            Schools taking part in the event include Ascension Collegiate of Bay Roberts; St. James Regional High of Port aux Basques; Botwood Collegiate of Botwood; Heritage Collegiate of Lethbridge; Corner Brook Regional High School of Corner Brook; Carbonear Collegiate of Carbonear; Holy Spirit High School of Conception Bay South; O’Donel High School of Mount Pearl; Clarenville High School of Clarenville; Lakewood Academy of Glenwood; Mount Pearl Senior High School of Mount Pearl; Queen Elizabeth Regional High School of Conception Bay South; Mealy Mountain Collegiate of Happy Valley-Goose Bay; and Crescent Collegiate of South Dildo.

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