April 22, 2016 5:09 pm

Students participate in underwater robot competition

A student controls an underwater robot via remote control.

Adrienne South/Global News
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For a third consecutive year, students from high schools across the region competed in the Youth Underwater Robotics Competition at Survival Training Systems in Dartmouth.

About 70 students from six schools spent a year designing and building Remotely Operated Vehicles, also known as ROVs.

The competition was a chance for students to put their underwater robots through a series of challenges. Teams collected points for completing each challenge, and for presenting their business and marketing plans to a panel of judges from the ocean technology sector.

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Nova Scotia Community College Student Recruitment Coordinator Mike Duggan helped organize the event. He says the challenges simulate real-life scenarios.

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“We have ROVs that are going and collecting coral reef samples, they are measuring the thickness of ice caps or measuring the thickness of the ice that’s on top of the water. We have challenges where they are trying to collect information and materials off the ocean floor. They’re testing the temperature, or venting areas that are on the ocean floor, so a lot of very cool challenges,” said Duggan.

The team from Charles P. Allen High School scored the highest in the regional event, beating last year’s defending champions from Prince Andrew High School.

Morgan Higginson competed for the first time and helped lead her team to the victory. Higginson says she was nervous but excited to take part in the competition. One of her roles on the team was to help create parts for their ROV named ‘Cygnus’.

“I was part of the ‘claw team’ so we 3D-printed them and we made our own designs too. So it was really cool to do that,” said Higginson.

Five high schools took part in the competition, along with one junior high. Charles P. Allen competed against students from Eastern Shore, Fountain Academy, Prince Andrew and Shelburne Regional high schools.

Students from CPA will move on to compete at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Competition (MATE) in Houston, TX in June. The international competition will feature approximately 35 teams from 12 different countries.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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