Oregon Coast Aquarium Hosts Remotely Operated Vehicle Contest

April 08, 2013

Oregon Coast Aquarium Hosts Remotely Operated Vehicle Contest

Newport, Oregon— The Oregon Coast Aquarium hosted a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competition on Thursday and Friday for Lincoln County middle and high school students as part of the Oregon Regional Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) ROV program.

The program is intended to, “Engage students in hands-on engineering activities that link to real world problems and current research,” said Tracy Crews, Marine Education Manager with Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon Regional MATE ROV Coordinator.

Approximately 24 teams from Lincoln County vied for the opportunity to advance to the statewide regional competition on May 4 in Lincoln City. Taft High School 7th grade student Aaron Chadwell explained why he participated when he said, “We all thought it was pretty fun because we got to build something. It was cool to learn the wiring and we got to do everything ourselves.”

The contest parameters require students to build ROVs that are capable of tasks related to an underwater workplace related theme. This year’s contest focuses on “Ocean Observing Systems,” so students must design ROVs that can grab and move objects and uncouple scientific equipment. Entries are also judged on the students’ ability to work together and on a poster and presentation that explains each group’s robot.

Robert Rowell, a parent in attendance whose daughter also volunteers at the Aquarium said, “Every time we turn around our kids find something to get involved in. I think things like this make them enjoy school more.”

MATE hopes the ROV competition will expose students to science and technology careers by challenging them to develop their own solutions to common tasks in the underwater workplace. The event in Lincoln County was organized by Oregon Sea Grant and the Lincoln County School District and hosted by the Oregon Coast Aquarium. The purchase of materials and equipment was made possible through a grant from the Siletz Charitable Contribution Fund. Interested educators should contact Tracy Crews at Hatfield Marine Science Center for more information.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in Newport on the beautiful Oregon Coast. Our mission is to inspire the public to better understand, cherish and conserve marine and coastal ecosystems. The Aquarium is a member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. It has been named one of the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. Visit us at 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR. www.aquarium.org, 541-867-3474. Follow us on Facebook.com/OregonCoastAquarium for the latest updates.

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