The Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center created a global remotely operated vehicle (ROV) competition in partnership with the Marine Technology. This competition challenges students to build underwater robots to tackle tasks based on the real world situations. Through this work, students develop and apply a range of technical, scientific, and workplace skills. These skills among the most in demand by employers today, and include creativity, adaptability, teamwork, and communication. Community college students are currently underrepresented in MATE ROV Competitions. This project at Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey California, aims to increase the number of community college students who participate in the MATE ROV competition. It is expected that this participation will increase the number of community college students who have the scientific and workplace skills needed to enter and thrive in the STEM technician workforce, a critical sector for the nation's economy and security.
The overarching goal of the project is to increase the number of community colleges that participate in the MATE ROV Competition. To accomplish this goal, the project will: 1) identify and recruit community colleges to participate in the competition; 2) use experienced community college faculty ROV team advisors to serve as mentors; 3) provide resources and other support to community college faculty preparing for the competition; 4) use MATE's Evaluate-Compete methodology as a mentoring and feedback vehicle for competition teams and as a tool to recruit new community colleges; 5) enhance the resources in the MATE Regional Coordinators' Toolkit to assist coordinators in recruiting and supporting participation in competitions; and 6) identify and disseminate examples for sustaining long-term participation in the competition that could be applicable to other undergraduate research experiences. This project leverages the experiences and best practices from other successful NSF-funded projects including the MATE Center and ITEST Scale-Up. In addition, the project will use an online undergraduate research evaluation instrument also supported by NSF, EvaluateUR, to measure the efficacy and impact of the project activities.
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