Registration Now Open for the 2016 Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Challenge

Members of the Bermuda Union of Teachers participate in an underwater robotics workshop led by BIOS educators

Island teachers learned about undersea robots this week during a two-day professional development workshop hosted by the Bermuda Union of Teachers. Their middle school students will be learning to design, build, and test vehicles like these during an April 2016 robotics challenge event.

Registration opened Oct. 1 for middle school team participation in the popular Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Challenge, sponsored by the Mid Atlantic Robotics IN Education (MARINE) program. This year’s program, hosted by BIOS, will become a regional partner with the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center (MATE), which challenges students to apply physics, math, electronics, and engineering lessons to the marine environment.

Following the success of last year’s ROV Challenge, MATE approached BIOS about a partnership that will give Bermudian youth a stronger path to ROV competitions at higher international levels. Bermuda’s middle school students will compete this year at the Scout and Navigator levels of the MATE course (designated for beginner and mid-level difficulty).

The event will be held at the National Sports Center on April 30, 2016, with HSBC as a lead sponsor.

Students from Clearwater Middle School won the robotics competition in 2015

The Clearwater Middle School Team 5 was the overall winner of the 2015 ROV Angelfish Challenge. They collected 146.5 out of 158 points in the challenge.

“We are grateful to HSBC for their continued support of this program,” said Kaitlin Baird, assistant director of science education programs at BIOS.

The program reflects BIOS’s commitment to using underwater vehicles to understand complex ocean processes, Baird said. Building ROVs fosters critical thinking skills, enhances individual and group problem solving skills, and boosts technological fluency. It also supports science, technology, engineering, and mathematics [STEM] education goals.

This year’s topic is “From the Gulf of Mexico to Jupiter’s Moon Europa: ROV Encounters in Inner and Outer Space.”  During the challenge, students will set vehicles they have built in collaboration with instructors on a variety of missions, such as surveying and retrieving samples from a moon-like surface and collecting a coral sample from the deep sea.

MARINE was the topic of workshops hosted by BIOS for the Bermuda Union of Teachers on October 26 and 27.

For information on how to become involved please visit: /education/marine/ or /education/marine-rov-challenge/

Students operate an underwater robot during the annual BIOS ROV competition