MATE Remotely Operated Vehicles World Championship: Celebrating 20 Years!

For the 20th time in its history, the MATE remotely operated vehicles (ROV) World Championship is bringing students together from around the world to collaborate and compete in an underwater challenge from June 23 to 25 at Long Beach City College in Long Beach, California.

This competition challenges students to use engineering, math, physics and electronics to solve problems based on real-world scenarios. Students from K-12, community colleges and universities are put in one of five levels (EXPLORER, PIONEER, RANGER, NAVIGATOR and SCOUT) and asked to design, build and test underwater robots to complete specified, simulated, real-world missions. They also must organize into mock companies, develop entrepreneurial thinking as well as business and project management skills while competing with ROVs.

Nearly 50 in-person teams and 12 telepresence teams are participating. The MATE experience includes the livestream at: and the virtual reality world at:

For this 20th celebration, the MATE ROV Competition accepted the invitation from the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and gather the global community behind a common goal — creating improved conditions for sustainable use and development of the oceans. The competition is challenging students to create ROVs and related technologies to support work to combat climate change, provide clean energy, feed the growing global population, monitor ocean health and preserve maritime history.

MATE intends to capture its footprint at this year's championship with the goal of reducing carbon emissions and becoming net neutral in the near future. Some of its eco-friendly efforts include using QR codes to reduce printing, offering giveaways made of recycled materials and offering a telepresence option to compete.

"I'm thrilled to be celebrating our 20th World Championship! What started as a workforce development program for the marine industry has evolved into a workforce development program for our planet, one that empowers students to work collaboratively and creatively to address issues — from mitigating climate change to feeding our growing global population — that impact us all," said Jill Zande, president and executive director of MATE Inspiration for Innovation (MATE II) and one of the competition founders.

Sponsors for this year's competition include NSF, Marine Technology Society, Schmidt Ocean Institute, Ocean Infinity, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Reach the World, Saab Seaeye, NOAA Ocean Exploration, Bulgin, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, Oceaneering, Blue Robotics, Martin Klein, Blue Trail Engineering, Visit Kingsport, Niswonger Foundation and Teledyne Marine with support from the National Center for Autonomous Technologies and the Global Ocean-Biogeochemistry Array (GO-BGC project).

In celebration of the 20th World Championship, MATE is attempting to raise $20,000 in 20 days and is close to achieving their goal. To donate, visit


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