Students rank top 10 in MATE competition in Aptos

— Glacier High School Charter Correspondent

May 13, 2014 

Mountain Home School Charter and Glacier High School Charter performed in the top 10 in the 13th Annual MATE Regional Underwater Robotics Contest in Aptos, California, May 3, 2014.

With over 60 teams from all over California, the level of competition was quite high. All teams were judged in three areas: engineering presentations, poster display, and actual performance of designated missions in the pool. Students built their robot completely from scratch, learning to solder circuit boards, understand electrical concepts as well as water dynamics and physics. This year's theme was focused on Exploring the Great Lakes: Shipwrecks, Sinkholes, and Conservation in the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Mountain Home School Charter sent three "Scout" level teams to this year's competition. They competed against 39 other scout teams. All three teams scored in the top 10 overall. Two teams, Team H20 and Team OTD, tied for first for the Engineering Poster Display. They received special prizes as well as a plaque. Students were instructed that their poster display should be an informative, clear, and concise marketing presentation about their company and how it designed and built the specialized tools to complete the mission tasks. During the competition, the students' company displays were evaluated and scored by judges knowledgeable in science, business, government, industry, and education. Team H20 and Team OTD were the only two teams out of 39 to receive a perfect score.

In final rankings, which included all three judged areas, Team H20 came in sixth place, Team CEC, Inc. eighth place, and Team OTD placed ninth overall.

Mountain Home School and Glacier High School also participated in a more advanced level of robotics called the "Navigators." The Navigator level teams had more complicated missions and were required to navigate completely using underwater cameras. Glacier High School Team – The Techno Geeks scored third in underwater mission and second for their poster display. Overall they placed third place in final rankings. Mountain Home School Team – Underwater Innovation scored third in the engineering presentation and fifth place overall.

Assistant Principal and Robotics Instructor Eric Hagen was very pleased at the high level of commitment from all teams. The ability for teams to work together and solve problems as they arose on their own developed greatly. Parents commented that they saw their children grow in confidence and independence.

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