Georges Oates Larsen, April Eckhardt, Holly Eckhardt, and Don Beitzel, four members of the Clatsop Community College ROV Club, went to Lincoln City on Saturday, May 10 to explore and identify a simulated shipwreck based on clues discovered using their student-built underwater robot. Twenty-two teams of students, ranging in age from 9 years to college-aged, gathered at the Lincoln City Community Center to participate in the 3rd annual Oregon Regional Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Competition.
The CCC Explorer Class ROV team, along with the Explorer Class team from Linn-Benton Community College and the Ranger Class ROV team Typhoon Industries from Azalea, OR, will advance to the MATE International Competition at Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, Michigan June 26-28. The 2014 MATE International ROV competition focuses on exploring shipwrecks, sinkholes, and conservation in the Great Lakes. The International Competition will involve hundreds of students and over 50 top teams from around the world including teams from Egypt, Hong Kong, and Scotland.
According to Pat Keefe, CCC Physics Faculty and ROV Club Advisor, "This year’s team did exceptionally well. We were able to qualify without doubt, something that did not happen with the Linn-Benton team. The OSU team had so much trouble that they did not even get their ROV in the water. That is how difficult this project is. I could not be more proud of the more than a dozen students who have been working on this from the first week of classes in September."
Sponsored by Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon Coast Regional STEM Hub, Saturday’s competition was one of 23 regional MATE ROV competitions held annually around the world. The goal of these competitions is to expose students to the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills that are used by researchers and marine technicians around the world. ROVs are devices often employed to conduct research, locate and identify shipwrecks, deploy and service underwater equipment, and retrieve samples or items from the seafloor.
The student-built and operated ROV that participated in Saturday’s event was required to complete a safety check and perform a series of tasks in the pool. Student teams were also required to submit a systems integration diagram and a company spec sheet detailing their ROV design and construction to a panel of judges, many of whom currently work as oceanographers, engineers, and marine technicians.
For more information, contact Pat Keefe, 503-338-2434.