Teams To Gather For Robotics Challenge

April 22, 2019

Twenty-four teams from 10 Bermuda schools and educational organizations, including a new team from Impact Mentoring Academy, will converge on the National Sports Centre on April 27th for the 2019 Marine Advanced Technology in Education [MATE] Bermuda Regional Remotely Operated Vehicle [ROV] Challenge.

The program, hosted by the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences [BIOS], is part of the Mid-Atlantic Robotics IN Education [MARINE] Program.

BIOS has partnered with the private sector in Bermuda for the past four years in support of MARINE and the ROV Challenge, which teaches young people about the world’s ocean and the importance of technological innovation in exploring and understanding it.

BIOS MATE ROV Bermuda April 2019 (1)

During the challenge, students will set their robotic vehicles—built in collaboration with instructors and mentors—on a variety of missions centered around this year’s theme of “Ocean Zones and ROV Operations in Rivers, Lakes, and Dams .”

Multiple courses will be set up in the pool, each with pre-determined tasks for the ROVs and their student pilots to complete within an allotted time. Students compete at a variety of levels of difficulty, as designated by BIOS and MATE: Beginner, Scout [Intermediate], and Ranger [Advanced Intermediate].

This year, students on the beginner teams are asked to build vehicles capable of conducting water sampling activities at depth, collecting deep-sea organisms and samples of marine debris, and assisting in the creation of bathymetric maps.

Students in the SCOUT and RANGER teams will be tasked with conducting routine inspections and repairs of a local dam, checking water quality parameters, restoring the local waterway and fish habitat, and recovering historical artifacts from the riverbed.

BIOS MATE ROV Bermuda April 2019 (2)

Teams in all levels will also earn points from judges based on marketing displays of their ROV companies and engineering interviews about the design and features of their vehicles.

The ROV challenge reflects BIOS’s commitment to using underwater vehicles to understand complex ocean processes, said Ocean Academy Director Kaitlin Noyes, who also heads up the MARINE program. Building ROVs fosters critical thinking skills, enhances individual and group problem solving skills, and boosts technological fluency. It also supports education goals associated with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, known as the STEM fields.

Noyes said that 19 of this year’s participating teams are from public schools; the remaining nine teams represent private and charter schools. In addition to Bermuda College, teams representing older, teenage students include two returning teams from last year, The Berkeley Institute and CedarBridge Academy.

BIOS MATE ROV Bermuda April 2019 (3)

She also expresses gratitude to Orange Bay Company and La Trattoria for their continued support in helping us to provide pizza lunch for teams and volunteers on the day of the challenge.

The event on Saturday April 27th, begins at 9:00 am and is free and open to the public. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held on Sunday, April 28th. For more information, contact Kaitlin Noyes

MARINE is generously supported by HSBC, XL Foundation, and others.

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