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April 11, 2007

Contact: Krista Trono, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary
(757) 591-7328

Students to Compete in Second Mid-Atlantic Regional Remotely Operated Vehicle Competition

Underwater robots built by 15 high school teams from Virginia, North Carolina, Delaware and Maryland will be put to the test at the Langley Air Force Base swimming pool on Saturday, April 21, during the second Mid-Atlantic regional remotely operated vehicle (ROV) competition.

The winning team from the competition will represent the Mid-Atlantic region at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center’s International ROV Competition, to be held June 21-24 in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. The regional event is being organized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, Nauticus-The National Maritime Center and Langley Air Force Base, and is partially sponsored by a grant from Verizon.

WHAT: Mid-Atlantic Regional MATE Remotely Operated Vehicle Competition

WHEN: Saturday, April 21, 2007

8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Water trials, engineering review and poster judging

4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Awards ceremony (Langley AFB dining hall)

WHERE: Langley Air Force Base Fitness Center, Hampton, Va.

Archaeologists, oceanographers and maritime engineers from NASA, Old Dominion University, Northrop Grumman Newport News and other professionals will judge the competition. More than 125 students will be on hand to answer questions about the design and efficiency of their ROVs.

Students will be judged in three categories: how effectively their ROV completes a series of underwater missions related to the International Polar Year; their ability to communicate their design and building concepts to a panel of professional engineers; and a visual poster display of their underwater robot.

The public is invited to watch the competition for free, although attendees will be required to get pre-approved access onto Langley Air Force Base. Contact Krista Trono for more information at (757) 591-7328.

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