June 28, 2010 – Hilo, Hawaii
Video by David Corrigan
60 high school and college student teams from all over the world, including 5 from Hawaii, took part in the 9th International Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center’s underwater robot competition, held June 24 to 26 at the University of Hawaii-Hilo campus.
The student teams from all over the world designed, built, and piloted their unique ROVs (remotely operated vehicle) at the Olympic-sized UH Hilo Student Life Center Pool.
The challenge was to see which teams could carry out their mission the fastest and most accurately, deploying instruments, taking sensor readings, and collecting samples from a simulated underwater volcano.
At the same time, an Ocean Career Expo was held at the Student Life Center Foyer.
Caroline Brown with the MATE Center shared the following news of the results:
In the Explorer (advanced level) class the 1st place winner was Institute for Marine Technology Problems of Vladivostok, Russia; 2nd place went to Long Beach City College of Long Beach, Calif.; and 3rd place went to the Marine Institute and Faculty of Engineering of Memorial University of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. In the Ranger class (intermediate level), 1st place was won by First Flight High School of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina; 2nd place went to Clarenville High School of Clarenville, Newfoundland, Canada; and 3rd place was won by Aptos High School of Aptos, Calif.
A couple of Hawaii teams won some prizes too. The Hilo High School team won the “Biggest Bang for the Buck” prize in the Ranger category, which means that they spent the least amount of money on a vehicle that performed well. The Highlands Intermediate School of Pearl City won the “Aloha Team Spirit” award for having the best overall team spirit. And finally, Erica Sampaga of Hilo School won one of three Ranger class “Engineering MVP” prizes, which as you might guess are given to students that exhibit outstanding engineering skills.