ORLANDO, Fla. – The YMCA of Central Florida will host the 11th Annual MATE International ROV Competition at the YMCA Aquatics Center on June 21-23, 2012. The Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center coordinates an international student underwater robotics (remotely operated vehicle or ROV) competition and a network of 21 regional ROV contests that take place across U.S. and in Canada, Hong Kong, Scotland, and Japan.
No other YMCA has hosted an educational event of this magnitude before where more than 50 teams from middle schools, high schools, after-school clubs, community colleges and universities around the world participate.
The competition consists of three different “classes” that vary depending on the sophistication of the ROVs and the mission requirements. In addition to technical skills, the events help students develop the ability to problem solve, think critically and work as part of a team.
“At the Y, developing the minds of our youth is just as important as coaching them in basketball or teaching them how to swim,” stated Jim Ferber, president and CEO of the YMCA of Central Florida. “Given that we have a mutual goal to motivate students to study science technology, engineering and math (STEM) and pursue careers in STEM fields, it was only a matter of time before the Y and the MATE Center worked together to achieve this goal.”
The YMCA of Central Florida is creating technical programs and opportunities in our local community to teach kids how important math and science skills are to the community and the world. Through collaboration with educators, business leaders and local governments, the Y is able to develop unique learning environments that support academic achievement and high performance in schools.
One such example is its partnership with Lockheed Martin Corporation to establish the Technology Center at the South Orlando Y, which provides students at neighboring community schools with an opportunity to explore careers in math and science that play a significant role in Central Florida’s economic development. Additionally, in February, the Y hosted the Red Tail Pilots Tribute Event where it brought the community together to show youth that math and science careers are great options to building a better future.
About the YMCA of Central Florida
The YMCA of Central Florida is one of the area’s largest nonprofits committed to strengthening the local communities it serves. It is a diverse organization of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Each day 25,000 Central Florida residents are impacted by the Y when a mentor inspires a child, individuals make healthy choices and a community comes together for common good. In 2012, this YMCA Association of over 1,800 employees across 6 Florida counties impacted over 225,000 residents and invested, during a down economy, $10.2 million in its local communities through neighborhood improvement projects. Also, this Y provided $9.2 million in financial assistance to children and families that resulted in lasting personal and social change.
Amanda Forbes Mestdagh, APR