(May 01, 2022) --
This weekend, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s Discovery Hall Programs hosted the 9th annual Northern Gulf Coast Regional MATE ROV Competition.
Twenty teams from five states competed with their custom-built remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). The competition is a part of the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) network of 30 regional competitions held across the U.S. and around the world.
Each year, MATE creates a scenario to inspire and challenge the students to apply science, technology, engineering, and math to solve real-world problems. With its focus on education, the competition is less about winning and more about strengthening students’ critical thinking, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and innovation skills.
For the 2022 competition, ROV tasks addressed ocean energy and aquaculture and also celebrated the discovery of Shackleton’s ship Endurance in Antarctica. Students also developed a poster or a presentation outlining how they designed and built their ROV to complete each mission.
There are four challenge classes in the MATE competition and in each class the missions and ROVs increase in complexity. This year, teams competed in the Scout, Navigator, and Ranger challenge classes.
The winners in the Scout Challenge Class are:
- 3rd Place: Tyndall Academy, Thunder Waves
- 2nd Place: Walker High, WABR
- 1st Place: Acorns to Oaks, Water Wardens
The winners in the Navigator Challenge Class are:
- 3rd Place: Tyndall Academy, Sea Birds
- 2nd Place: Walker High, Sea Monkeys
- 1st Place: Northridge High, Howard Inc.
The winners in the Ranger Challenge Class are:
- 2nd Place: Northridge High, Pure Tide
- 1st Place: Pensacola Catholic High School, Crubotics
Each year, specialty awards are presented by the judges and volunteers. Thompson High School’s Underwater Warriors earned the Buoyancy Award for overcoming the challenge of a failed circuit board. Baton Rouge International School’s Alpha Zero team of two earned the Tethered Together Award for their extraordinary teamwork and troubleshooting after losing a propeller during the competition.
This year, the NGC also hosted the MATE Texas Regional teams with two teams competing. Team Beluga of Arlington, Texas competed in the Scout Class and Aquabot Technicians from Foy H. Moody High School in Corpus Christi competed in the Ranger Class. The Aquabot Technicians with their scores are eligible to represent the Texas Regional at the MATE World Championship in Long Beach, California in June.
From the Northern Gulf Coast Regional, PCHS Crubiotics are also eligible to compete at the MATE World Championship.
The MATE Regional ROV Competition is a part of Discovery Hall’s K-12 STEM Programs. The 10th annual Northern Gulf Coast Regional is set for April 28-30, 2023.
More information on the competition can be found on the MATE Competition website at materovcompetition.org.
For information and videos of previous competitions check out disl.edu/dhp/rov-programs.