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REF NO.: 172

SUBJECT: The Fisheries and Marine Institute welcomes underwater robot competition May 2-3

DATE: April 30

               From May 2-3, students from across the province will demonstrate their technical prowess with underwater robots at the 2008 MATE Newfoundland and Labrador Regional ROV Competition. The competition theme will focus on hydrothermal vents found at mid-ocean ridges and the technologies used to study these deep-sea environments. 
            Faced with the same types of challenges as scientists and engineers who work in these environments, student teams have developed underwater robots, also known as remotely-operated vehicles or ROVs, for underwater mission tasks that simulate ocean observing, scientific research, and offshore industry operations in polar seas. 
            Thirteen high schools are scheduled to compete in this year’s event will be held at the Marine Institute’s flume tank in St. John’s. Professionals from industrial, scientific, government, education and exploration organizations 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.
            Supported by the National Science Foundation’s Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Centre 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.
            The public is invited to view the competition live from the Marine Institute’s flume tank viewing area, on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free parking is available.
            The media are also encouraged to send representatives to the opening reception at the Marine Institute, Friday, May 2, at 6:30 p.m. where MHA Ed Buckingham, on behalf of Joan Burke, minister of Education, Memorial University president Dr. Eddy Campbell,  Glenn Blackwood, executive director of the Marine Institute, and Jerry Byrne, president, D.F. Barnes Group, will welcome teams to the competition. The event will conclude with an awards banquet on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the Marine Institute’s cafeteria.

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For more information, please contact Stephanie Barrett, public relations and communications officer, Fisheries and Marine Institute, at 778-0677or or Kimberley Thornhill, educational marketing co-ordinator, Fisheries and Marine Institute, at 778-0544, 691-9221 or  


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