Mount Pearl Senior High Wins Regional MATE ROV Competition
Monday, May 9, 2016

More than 320 junior high and high school students from across Newfoundland and Labrador gathered at the Marine Institute’s flume tank for the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) NL Regional Competition this weekend.

This year’s competition theme ‘From the Gulf of Mexico to Jupiter’s Moon Europa’ challenged students to operate their ROVs in the simulated ocean under Jupiter’s ice sheet; find and recover critical equipment from the Gulf of Mexico and photograph and collect deep-water coral samples, just to name a few.

While the 15 junior high (SCOUT) teams walked away with new experiences, friends and skills, the 13 teams competing in the high school (RANGER) class were vying for the chance to compete at the MATE ROV International Competition which will take place from June 23-25 at the NASA Johnson Space Center's Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas.

Mount Pearl Senior High came out victorious and will move on to the June competition along with second place winner, O’Donel High School. The two will join Memorial University’s post-secondary Eastern Edge Robotics team who will compete in the EXPLORER class at the International Competition.

Third place in the RANGER competition went to Lewisporte Collegiate. Teams were also recognized for their marketing displays, sales presentations and ROV product demonstration. The Steve Brown ROV Leadership award went to Sean Purchase of Mount Pearl Senior High and Fatima Academy earned the Rising Star Award.

An annual event that began in 2003, the MATE ROV NL Regional Competition encourages students to learn and apply science, technology, engineering and math skills as they create ROVs to complete underwater missions that simulate challenges present in marine environments. This year’s mission challenged students to design, build and operate a first-of-its-kind, dual purpose and single launch ROV that can operate in the harsh environments of both the deep ocean and outer space.

The MATE Competition Network began in 2001 and currently consists of 26 regional events that take place across the U.S. and around the world. 2016 marks the 15th year of the MATE International competition, where NL students have had great success. Memorial’s Eastern Edge Robotics team has won this event three times and in 2014, the team from Clarenville were crowned champions.

The 2016 regional competition was a success thanks to support from Statoil, Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd., Husky Energy, Subsea7, GRI Simulations, Crosbie Group Ltd. and the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University.