Results from last weekend’s Northeast Regional competition for the MATE ROV challenge were released the other day:
1st Overall-High Tech High School, Lincroft, NJ

2nd Overall-Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, Cambridge, MA

These teams will compete at the international competition in June against the regional winners from across the world.

Marine Advanced Technology Education Center MATE is an annual contest where students form groups to create an underwater ROV to solve a problem.


Each team had 5 minutes to set up their equipment, 20 minutes to complete the mission tasks and 5 minutes to break down their gear and clear the pool deck.

Jill Zande, competition coordinator passed along a few links:

As for information about the competition, you can certainly find the challenges, etc. on the MATE web site.
Regional contests have their own web sites – and links to photos!


Since these are student build vehicles, troubleshooting and problem solving are incredibly important. In preparation for the safety check and underwater mission, many of the teams spent time fine tuning their vehicles. It was great to see young people focused on the solutions they needed, rather than getting held back by the obstacles they faced. The teenagers were in charge of and responsible for their success on this project.

There are at least a thousand ways you could screw something up on a project and cause it to fail. There are always loads of obstacles, reasons that it can’t be done, tough challenges. At the same time, there are usually a small handful, maybe as few as four or five ways that just about anything can be done, sometimes fewer. The students I saw at the MATE competition were showing that they had the ability to focus on the five successful paths as they bumped into the thousands of problems they encountered on their project. We can’t all be winners, but these people, the ones who focus their attention and effort on the four or five possible solutions are all makers, problem solvers, forward looking people in an essential quest for the elusive solution.

During the competition, there were also two commercially made ROVs that people could try out. It was a lot of fun to see teenagers and even younger kids driving around an ROV on their own.

Did you participate in one of the MATE regional competitions? If you did, tell us how it went for your group. Please add your photos to the MAKE Flickr pool, and if you could, please use these tags: MATE2009, MATERegionals2009, and for the Northeast regionals at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy: MATERegionalsMMA2009. If your group competed in another regional, try to set the tags for that so that we can find all the pictures and video easily. If you are using YouTube or some other system, you can use the same tagging system as well.


Chris Connors

Making things is the best way to learn about our world.


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