Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE)

  • Challenges students around the globe to solve real-world problems
  • Encourages students to develop strategies with an entrepreneurial mindset
  • 83% of MATE students wanted to learn more about STEM
  • 76% of MATE students are more interested in a career in STEM

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As explained by the abstract on the home page of the Marine Advanced Technology Education’s website, The MATE ROV Competition is a global underwater robotics (remotely operated vehicle or ROV) competition for students that consists of a World Championship and a network of 41 (and growing!) regional contests that take place across North America, Asia, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Western Pacific. Hundreds of student teams from upper elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, home schools, community colleges, universities, and community organizations (such as the Boys and Girls Club and 4-H) participate.

Since 2018, STREAMWORKS Education has led the Appalachian Highlands region in the development of robotics teams, largely through the implementation of the MATE initiative. Since the beginning of STREAMWORKS’ involvement in the region by providing coaching resources, team information, technical discussions, and educator workshops, there have been several occurrences of regional teams progressing to the culminating yearly international competition to compete with others from all around the globe.

STREAMWORKS works to develop teams so that the impact of the MATE program can be as widespread as possible. Interns from STREAMWORKS attend community outreach events where they go to schools to discuss with local communities the process and benefits of the MATE program. This creates interest which leads to the creation of a team. When a school is looking to create a team, STREAMWORKS sends interns to the school to discuss MATE with them on a further level and help lead team development and organization. While our interns come from diverse technical backgrounds, a majority of our interns are MATE competitors themselves, whether that be at the high school or college level. This gives a sense of understanding that our interns know what it is like to be a part of a rookie team, unsure of the process to create a functional remotely operated vehicle.

Not only does STREAMWORKS develop teams, but we also host the annual MATE Appalachian Highlands Regional Competition. Teams in recent years have come from Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina. Ranging in grades as young as second grade all the way to university. With both diverse competitor and judge pools, a very unique crowd attend. Coming from many different backgrounds including engineering, business, marketing, computer science, and other occupations, our judges and volunteers are selected and trained to help provide the successful day of competition the students spend months preparing for. The competition piece of the MATE program is so important to the overall experience that it is imperative that STREAMWORKS continues this, and is always looking for volunteers and judges.

If you would like some more information on the Marine Advanced Technology Education, how to start a team, or any other questions, please contact Dennis Courtney at dcourtney@streamworkseducation.org.