Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center Inspires Students

As water and ice destroyed the ship’s hull, the crew of the famed HMS Endurance, abandoned the ship and began their 25-day journey back to civilization under Sir Ernest Shackleton’s leadership. The Endurance sank on October 27, 1915 and was all but lost for the last 107 years. 

Lost. That is, until a team of scientists found it on March 9, 2022 using submersibles and undersea drones in the Weddell Sea (on the Northern top of Antarctica). For any students of history, exploration, and adventure, the finding of the wooden ship at roughly 10,000 feet deep in icy waters is an exciting discovery. 

What Gets Students Interested in Research and Technology?

It is stories like this one, finding the HMS Endurance, that inspire future and current scientists and explorers. Although the remotely operated vehicle used in the MATE ROV competition is a very basic version of the Saab Sabertooth drone that was used to locate and photograph the long-lost ship, the same scientific and mathematical concepts apply and are part of the STEM focus that the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center strive to teach. MATE is a resource center funded by the National Science Foundation and headquartered at Monterey Peninsula College (MPC).

According to the website, “The MATE ROV Competition is an underwater robotics challenge that engages a global community of learners each year. This year, the MATE ROV Competition is highlighting the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and inspiring our global community to embrace environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts to create a sustainable future on our ocean planet. The competition is challenging its community to design and build an ROV and the necessary sensors and tooling to support work to combat climate change, provide clean energy, feed our growing global population, monitor ocean health, preserve our maritime history, and ‘deliver, together, the ocean we need for the future we want!’”

Working together, NCAT (MNT-EC Partner) and MATE have re-imagined the 2022 MATE ROV Competition to include a virtual world that enables students and mentors from around the globe to experience the competition even if they can’t participate in person. As it did last year, the 2022 MATE ROV Competition VR World will facilitate the social interaction, peer-to-peer networking, and shared experience that students value and appreciate most about the competition – and are especially craving during the time of this pandemic.

Pasadena City College Care Bears Underwater ROV Team

In the 2022 annual MATE ROV (remotely operated vehicle) Competition at Long Beach City College this year, the Pasadena City College “Care Bears Build a Sub” student team that won third place at the event (photo above). Kudos to all of the students, staff, and faculty who made this a great adventure. Sir Ernest Shackleton would be glad to know that his ship was not lost forever thanks to generations of students who made remotely operated submersibles a reality.