N.L. teams shine at robotics event in Seattle

Andrew Robinson
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Members of O’Donel High School’s remotely operated vehicle team get to work during a recent international competition in Seattle, Wash. — Submitted photo

Three teams from Newfoundland and Labrador fared well at a recent international robotics competition in Seattle, Wash.

Mount Pearl’s O’Donel High School finished first in the engineering panel competition and took home the Ranger Team Spirit Award at the 2013 Marine Advanced Technology Education Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competition. The three-day event concluded Saturday.

Heritage Collegiate in Lethbridge also did well, earning second-place honours for the overall team challenge, while a team from Memorial University placed second overall in the post-secondary portion of the event.

More than 30 teams from around the world took part in the high school competition, while 26 were involved at the post-secondary level.

O’Donel High’s ROV team has earned the right to attend the international competition for three straight years, and principal Michelle Clemens said her students did a phenomenal job at this year’s event.

“You have a group of teenagers who have put together this robot and done all the planning and the programming, and then they have to defend it in front of a panel of engineers, so it’s pretty tough stuff, and they just did fantastic with it,” she said.

Clemens’ school has a partnership in place with MUN, and she said many students who join the ROV team later go on to study engineering at the post-secondary institution.

Clarence Button, a technology teacher at O’Donel who has also been heavily involved in organizing provincial ROV competitions, said support from the industry is strong in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“A number of the petroleum companies, for example, have been involved and very heartily and willingly supporting this program, I suppose, because they’re in the offshore oil business, and the types of kids that we’re training here are potential employees,” he said.

Button also acknowledged support from the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, calling its assistance a great investment in youth.


Twitter: @TeleAndrew

Organizations: O’Donel High School, Department of Innovation, Rural Development

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Seattle, Lethbridge

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