The Palm Beach Maritime Academy takes 1st Place in Scout Division at M.A.T.E.’s 8th Annual ROV Competition in Orlando
April 25, 2012
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Congratulations to Team “Tiger Shark” from Palm Beach Maritime Academy for their 1st place win in the Scout Division at MATE’s (Marine Advanced Technology Education) 8th Annual Florida Regional ROV (Remote Operating Vehicle) Competition in Orlando this past weekend. A student team from Palm Beach Maritime Academy made up of 8th grader Sara Wittbold-Araoz and 7th grader Camron Mason, with Mr. Allen as the faculty mentor, edged out The Canterbury School of Florida from St. Petersburg for top honors. This was the first year PBMA participated at the regional level. Also on their team, but unable to travel to Orlando were 8th graders Estrella Mondragon and Meghan Sprankle.
This year’s MATE competition theme highlighted the role that ROVs play in evaluating World War II shipwrecks and the potentially hazardous material that they still contain. Resting on the ocean bottom for over six decades, the hulls of these shipwrecks have deteriorated. Still containing fuel oil, these wrecks pose the very real threat of an environmental disaster. Assessing the condition of the shipwrecks and determining what to do with any hazardous material that remains on board was the real world challenge faced in this year’s competition. Using their ROVs, Scout Division teams were required to perform three mission tasks that included inflating submerged lift bags to simulate lifting off ship hull debris to gain access to fuel oil, transplanting simulated coral from the shipwreck and collecting simulated oil supplies. Teams were also required to present a poster board that highlighted their company’s ROV design, the building process, and their entrepreneurial skills used to complete the tasks. Team Tiger Shark was assisted in its winning efforts by the following middle school after care students: Davante Charles, Kedwin Nova, Madeline Abreu, Matt Spero, Brandon Meth and James Salvatierra. PBMA students learned basic wiring and soldering skills, as well as hyrdrodynamic design and engineering principles, in order to construct a PVC pipe ROV that manuerved with the help of three bilge pump motors powered by a car battery.
The 8th Annual Florida Regional ROV Competition in Orlando was hosted by MATE with support from the National Science Foundation. The MATE Center uses underwater robots as a way to get students excited about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and help them to see the practical applications of these subjects. In this way, the MATE Center and PBMA is working to encourage and motivate students to study STEM and pursue careers in ocean STEM fields. Palm Beach Maritime Academy would like to thank MATE and the National Science Foundation in addition to the event sponsors VideoRay, Odyssey Marine Exploration and Marine Technology Society. Most of the supplies, tools and curriculum needed for Palm Beach Maritime Academy’s participation in the 8th Annual Florida Regional ROV competition was made possible by Mr. Allen’s attendance at a MATE 2011 ITEST (Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers) ROV Workshop.
For more information on MATE’s ROV programs visit http://www.materover.org/main/.
For more information on Palm Beach Maritime Academy, a tuition-free Charter School serving Palm Beach students for 12 years, please call 561-547-3775.
About the Palm Beach Maritime Academy:
The Palm Beach Maritime Academy is a Charter School operated by the Palm Beach Maritime Museum. Charter Schools are independent, tuition-free, public schools that operate under a performance contract with the local School District.
The School is located at Palm Coast Plaza (1/2 mile south of Forest Hill Blvd. on Dixie Hwy.) 7719 South Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, Florida, 33405. The site includes classrooms for up to 325 students, a cafeteria, and computer & science labs. (pictured at right). The school we be moving to our new Lantana campus for the 2012-13 school year and expanding to 750 students. The Lantana campus is located at 1330 Lantana Road Lantana, Fl 33462.
The School also utilizes additional resources at the Palm Beach Maritime Museum's Lake Worth Lagoon Education Center in Currie Park, West Palm Beach; the former U.S. Coast Guard Station on Peanut Island; and a field office and dock space at the Museum's 4512 North Flagler Drive location in West Palm Beach. Transportation to these facilities is provided by the Academy during the school day from various locations.