First Annual Olympic Coast MATE ROV Competition in Forks

  • Wed May 24th, 2017 1:44pm
  • News

Spectators and fellow competitors watch on the right side of the pool as students operate their ROVs on the left side and two wet-suit-clad time keepers keep watch underwater at the Forks Athletic and Aquatic Club swimming pool. Cheers and applause rang out from the crowd as tasks were completed by the ROVs. Photo Christi Baron

On Saturday, May 20, 13 teams, including 60 students from schools throughout Olympic Peninsula, met to compete in the first annual Olympic Coast MATE ROV Competition. During the competition, students demonstrated their yearlong efforts in designing, developing and piloting ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) or underwater robots. This year’s competition theme was Port Cities of the Future: Commerce, Entertainment, Health and Safety.

Students were required to pass multiple technical and safety inspections, deliver an oral presentation on their engineering design, as well as provide a marketing display to entice potential partners or clients. The final challenge was for students to complete missions in the pool which emulated real world situations where ROVs complete the work.

First place in Scout — Girls Dominate from Forks sixth grade

Second place in Scout — Hash Slinging Slashers from Neah Bay High School

Third place in Scout — W.A.K. from Forks sixth grade

First Place in Navigator — The Invaders from Forks Junior High

Second Place in Navigator — Chitwin Navigators from Taholah High School

Additional discretionary awards were given by the judges including Top Poster (Clallam Bay High School Robotics), Team Spirit (The Expeditioners from Lake Quinault School), Top Presentation (Savage Squad from Forks sixth-graders), Macgyver Award (Chitwin Navigators from Taholah High School) and Excellence in Organization (Chitwins Scout from Taholah School). The mentor of the year went to Kim Kearns from Forks Intermediate School. Kearns was instrumental in building the ROV program and brought five teams from her sixth-grade classes.

The event, sponsored by NOAA Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education), took place at Forks Athletic and Aquatic Center in Forks.

Building ROVs offers students the opportunity to work in a fast-paced, collaborative and challenging environment while getting a leg up on the competition for complex jobs in marine technology industries.

For more information, contact Nicole Harris at [email protected] or 360-406-2082.