ROV Competition

Discovery Hall Programs hosts an annual student ROV competition each spring.  Teams of middle and high school students, along with their teachers/mentors, design, build, and test their own ROV before coming to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab to compete against other student teams in a series of scientific missions.

The competition serves as the Northern Gulf Coast regional site for the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) program.

The 2017 Competition will include SCOUT, NAVIGATOR and RANGER class competitions. The competition consists of 2 mission attempts, a marketing display poster and an oral presentation.  The competition will be held over a 3-day weekend beginning on Friday with safety inspections, followed by pool demonstrations (i.e. missions) on Saturday and presentations on Sunday. 

Dates: May 4-6, 2018
Registration Deadline: TBD 
Cost: 
SCOUT $25
NAVIGATOR $50
RANGER $150
Registration Link
 
The 2018 MATE International ROV competition will take place June 21 - June 23 at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Washington. 

What is MATE?

The primary mission of the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center is to provide the marine technical workforce with appropriately educated workers and to use marine technology to create interest in and improve STEM education.

The MATE ROV competition is about student learning. It is designed to be an event that challenges students to apply the physics, math, electronics, and engineering skills they are learning in the classroom to solving problems from the marine workplace. Mentors (teachers, parents, working professionals) are expected to limit their input to educational and inspirational roles and encouraged to focus on the benefits of the learning process and not simply on “winning” the competition.
 
MATE Regional competition website http://dauphinisland.marinetech2.org

Past Competition Video

2017

2016

 

2014

FAQs

How do I get started?

The best place to learn more about the ROV competition is MATE’s website. There you can find the team information page which has links to the competition overview and goals, FAQs and additional resources. Also available on their website are regional event dates, class handbooks and links to registration.  

The Northern Gulf Coast Regional also has its own MATE website where regional specific updates and information is posted. You can also contact me, Rachel McDonald, with any questions at rovcompetition@disl.org

What materials can be used and where can I get them?

Be creative! PVC is a great place to start for the frame, but I would encourage your students to take a trip to the local hardware or dollar store and look at other materials that can be repurposed into an ROV part. Just make sure they meet all of the safety guidelines in the handbook!

There are also kits you can buy online to get started. MATE has some available in their SeaMATE store or you can search online for other kits. Purchasing a kit is not required to compete in the competition, but they are a great place to start if you are new to underwater robotics. 

How many schools have participated?

Last year we had 16 teams compete from 15 schools, which came from Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana and Missouri.  Middle school and high school teams are welcome to participate as well as other extracurricular clubs such as Scout Troops and 4-H clubs. Schools or clubs may also bring more than one team (up to 2) as long as the teams are competing at separate class levels (i.e. Scout, Navigator or Ranger). 

How do you get involved?

If you are interested in bringing a team please visit MATE’s website for the competition guidelines and team registration.
If you are interested in volunteering at the event please email the regional coordinator, Rachel McDonald, at rovcompetition@disl.org.

We are currently looking for safety, mission, presentation and marketing judges as well as high school volunteers.  

If you would like to sponsor or contribute funds for facilities, building materials, awards or team travel stipends please contact us at rovcompetition@disl.org to make a donation. 

Keep in touch with all the happenings by joining our DISL-MATE ROV Facebook group.