The MATE Center uses underwater robots - also known as remotely operated vehicles or ROVs - to teach science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and prepare students for technical careers. Working in partnership with the Marine Technology Society ROV Committee, MATE created the ROV competition as a way to:
Engage students in STEM and expose them to science and technology careers
Encourage students to develop and apply technical, teamwork, and problem solving skills
Provide funds, materials, and technical expertise to support student learning provide industry with skilled individuals who can fill workforce needs
The MATE competition challenges K-12, community college, and university students from all over the world to design and build ROVs to tackle missions modeled after scenarios from the ocean workplace. The competition's class structure of beginner, intermediate, and advanced complements the education pipeline by providing students with the opportunity to build upon their skills - and the application of those skills - as they engineer increasingly more complex ROVs for increasingly more complex mission tasks.
The MATE competition requires students to think of themselves as "entrepreneurs" and transform their teams into companies that manufacture, market, and sell "products." In addition to engineering their ROVs, the students are required to prepare technical reports, poster displays, and engineering presentations that are delivered to working professionals who serve as competition judges.