Students to Compete in International Underwater Robotics Competition
Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center's 15th annual international
student underwater robotics competition will launch
June 23 at the NASA Johnson Space Center's Neutral Buoyancy Lab in
competition challenges students at all levels — K-12, community college
university — to design and build remote operated vehicles (ROVs),
accomplish underwater tasks.
goal is to encourage students to learn and apply science, technology,
engineering and math (STEM) skills, particularly in an effort to
for the future workforce for ocean occupations.
the school year, teams at all grade levels have worked to develop
single-launch ROVs that can operate in the deepest oceans and harshest
space environments. Using NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Lab — the world's
indoor pool at 202 feet long, 102 feet wide and 40 feet deep — the
have their ROVs conduct a number of tasks.
ocean-themed missions, students will use their ROVs to turn a
oil rig into an artificial reef and collect oil samples and coral
space-based missions challenge the teams to pilot their ROVs under the
sheet of Jupiter's moon Europa to collect data.
from around the world participated in 26 regional competitions before
selected to compete in the international event. Each team will be
a panel of judges from the ocean and space industries on design,
a national partnership of organizations working to improve marine
education, headquartered at Monterey
Peninsula College in Monterey, CA, and is funded
as a National
Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced
Technological Education (ATE) Center of
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.