News: Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center Sailors Volunteer at Robotics Competition
Story by Petty Officer 1st Class James Brown
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class James C. Brown
Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center Public Affairs
NORFOLK - Sailors from Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center (ECRC) volunteered at the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) competition at Old Dominion University. The competition, now in its 11th year, centered on the operation of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) and was open to K-12 and college students.
From a group of eight entrants, First Flight High School from Kill Devils Hills, N.C. won the Mid-Atlantic Regional MATE ROV Building Competition. It was the fifth regional win for the school whose students will now represent the region June 20-21 in Washington. The groups were judged on posters they created, engineering results and performance of the ROVs underwater.
Christine Arrasate, Logistics Coordinator for the event explained, “This event gives students an opportunity to develop math, engineering and science skills and apply them to real world scenarios using underwater robotics ... these are real situations and applications of ROVs that government and private industry are applying and exploring.”
“Beyond the actual need to improve how we measure, interact with and assess the planet’s vast marine environment, our youth need exposure to cutting edge technologies that deliver the knowledge, skills and abilities they will need to function as our nation’s next generation of explorers and problem solvers,” Cmdr. Mike Wegman, a judge for the engineering portion of the competition said when asked why this event is important.
As we move forward with new naval initiatives and technologies, the need to encourage and develop today’s students and tomorrow’s Navy leaders cannot be overstated. Poster judge Yeoman 1st Class Agileo Bello summed up the thoughts of many when he said, “I enjoyed this event because it showed me how much potential our children have.”