ROV challenge for Alford Academy

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A team of Alford Academy pupils has taken part in an annual competition which sees pupils from across Scotland put underwater robots they have designed and built to the test.

The Scottish leg of the challenge, co-ordinated and hosted by Robert Gordon University (RGU), saw 11 schools put underwater robots they have designed and built to the test on Thursday, March 31 at RGU’s Sir Ian Wood Building.

Mintlaw Academy emerged victorious, after a panel of industry experts scored the teams on how well they completed the missions, as well as taking into consideration the technical reports, poster displays, and engineering presentations the pupils were required to produce.

The RGU event is one of 24 regional heats held around the world by the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Centre in California and will see the winning school team travel to compete in this year’s international final which will be held at the NASA Johnson Space Centre’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Texas in June.

It is the second time Alford Academy has entered a team in the competition, with team leader Daniel Bellarby saying it had been an enjoyable experience.

He said: “It is quite interesting to have a look at the ROVs the other teams have built and see how they have come up with their designs. It’s interesting to see the different ways people have approached it.

“We’ve been working on our ROV for just three months so I think we did well for the amount of time that we had to build it. Everything worked and it’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.”

To date, Scottish MATE ROV has worked with 536 pupils from 34 schools over the past nine years.