The Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center coordinates an international student underwater robotics (remotely operated vehicle or ROV) competition and a network of 20 regional ROV contests that take place across U.S. and in Canada, Hong Kong, Scotland, and Japan. Student teams from upper elementary, middle schools, high schools, home schools, community colleges, universities, and community organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club and 4-H, participate. The competitions 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 to develop the ability to problem solve, think critically, and work as part of a team. By connecting students with employers and professionals from the workplace, the competitions also expose students to ocean-related career opportunities and help them to see the pathways to those careers.