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Hawaii Students Compete in Underwater Robotics Competition

The Coast Guard hosted several students during the Marine Advanced Technology Education Oahu Regional Competition at Base Honolulu, Saturday.

Nine teams from local elementary, middle and high schools competed in an underwater robotics competition focused on the use of technologies used for ocean and space science and exploration.

Nine teams comprised of local elementary, middle and high school students participated in the Marine Advanced Technology Education Oahu Regional Competition at Coast Guard Base Honolulu, May 6, 2017. Students competed in an underwater robotics competition focused on the application of technologies used for ocean and space science and exploration. (U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 2nd Class Melissa E. McKenzie/Released)

“We always love to partner with the community because we know that we’re creating future scientists, engineers and Coasties,” said Capt. Edward Sheppard, commanding officer, Coast Guard Base Honolulu. “We can help instill science, technology, engineering and math. Many of these kids will go off to colleges here in Hawaii or also on the mainland and then we might even be their future employer so it’s fantastic to be here.”

The contest’s top winners will travel to Long Beach City College in Long Beach, Calif., to compete against the winning teams of other regional MATE international ROV competitions.

The MATE ROV competition challenges students to apply the physics, math, electronics, and engineering skills they are learning in the classroom to solving problems from the marine workplace. Mentors are expected to limit their input to educational and inspirational roles and encouraged to focus on the benefits of the learning process and not winning the competition.

The primary mission of the MATE Center is to provide the marine technical workforce with appropriately educated workers and to use marine technology to create interest in and improve STEM education.

Groups are divided into two teams determined by skill level. The Ranger class is an intermediate level of competition aimed at middle and high school teams featuring robots and missions more complex and technologically advanced.  All missions are performed without looking in the pool, relying only on the sensors and cameras mounted on the ROV. The Scout class is open to novice teams in elementary through high school and introduces projects enabling students to learn the fundamentals of ROV design and construction.