Last Thursday, four students, Fredi, Sam (another teacher) and myself headed out to UCSB for the third MATE ROV contest. This is our first year to compete in the underwater remotly operated vehcile contest. Although the specifications of the contest were publixhed last fall, we really did not start until mid April after the FIRST nationals.
MATE contest web site: http://www.marinetech.org/rov_competition/index.php
There are two catagories:
Ranger class where only 12 volt motors and no more than 24 amps of current can be used. (Most high schools enter this catagory, we did not)
Explorer class which is the unlimited catagory. There were 11 teams. Only three were high schools, including Carl Hayden High School. The rest were colleges and universities:
Ball High School Galveston TX
Brevard Community College Palm Bay FL
Cape Fear Community College Wilmington NC
Carl Hayden High School Phoenix AZ
Lake Superior State University Sault Ste. Marie MI
Long Beach Community College Long Beach CA
Miami Dade College Miami FL
MIT Cambridge MA
Monterey Peninsula College Monterey CA
Palm Beach Lakes High School West Palm Beach FL
Sound School New Haven CT
The missions required the students to measure lengths, measure water depths, retreive liquids from a container, find an audio pinger, retrieve objects, using on board tools and camers and retrieve our ROV dockside within the 30 minute period.
There were also points awarded on a 20 page technical document, 30 minute oral technical presentation, and a poster display.
Anyway, Carl Hayden won the Judges’ Award, the ROV design award, the Technical Paper award AND THE FIRST PLACE award. We heard, “A rookie high school beat MIT?!”. We were very excited and proud to win the highest and the most awards at the national ROV competition.
How is it possible that a rookie team in the ROV competition can suceffully compete at the university level? Easy, we learned our skills in FIRST. That a school in the desert with FIRST experience can sucessfully compete with the top marine engineering schools in the country is quite a testimonial to the FIRST experience.
We passed out some FIRST brocures to high school teams who were interested. We encouraged the colleges and universities to find a high school to mentor. We also shared everyting we had: tools and supplies, of course, but also all our design secrets. We even published our technical documents weeks before the contest. We were trying to show that publishing designs increased the quality of every team and was especially helpful to new teams. We will see if it catches on next year. Gracious Professionalism!
Feel free to scream, “WE BEAT MIT!!!”. FIRST did!
Our ROV web site is http://www.geocities.com/falconrov/