The “South Shore Robotics”, consisting of a 7-member student team with members from both Bridgewater Junior High School and Park View Education Centre, had the thrill of a lifetime in June. They competed in the 2019 Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) International ROV Competition in Kingsport, Tennessee. “Some of the brightest minds from around the world competed at this event with remotely operated vehicles that they designed and built”. South Shore Robotics competed in the Ranger level against 45 other teams of students from as far away as Egypt, Switzerland, Hong Kong and the USA.
If you haven’t heard…South Shore Robotics is an after school STEMx program, where science, technology, engineering, and math are applied to solve real life problems. Team members, Adam Culbert, Evan Kinsman, Aditya Kondapuram, Eli Langille, Teodora Milos, and Ciaran O’Brien, together with teacher mentor, Byron Butt, researched, designed, and built an impressive underwater remote operated vehicle (ROV) capable of doing work in oil and gas, hydroelectric, environmental, and underwater archeological systems.
While competing in Tennessee, the south shore team and their ROV, the “SS Enterprise”, were tasked to complete four real-world scenarios that included simulating the lifting of a heavy Civil War era cannon off the bottom of a pool, scanning a dam wall for cracks, removing a filter from a pipe and inserting a mini-ROV (they had also built) into a six-inch pipe to inspect for debris. The team was also challenged with giving an engineering presentation to a panel of international experts. Byron said “They wowed the judges with their innovations and coding prowess!”
“We did our best!”, says student Adam Culbert. With such few teams in Nova Scotia we are in a bit of a bubble, so the most rewarding part was learning from other teams and sharing different solutions to problems. We have to make a lot of improvements to make our ROV faster and better next year, but we are motivated to be even more competitive and a contender for major awards.” He added that, “We would not have been able to compete at all without huge help from our sponsors, in addition to the public who contributed to our GoFundMe campaign. And, he can’t say enough about their teacher, Byron Butt, who he says, “put countless hours into the team. We really can’t put into words how much he has done for us.”
The “SS Enterprise” was made in carbon fibre, thanks to a donation from STELIA North America Ltd., with 3D Printing support from Brilliant Labs Inc. and the South Shore Public Library who both provided the materials and expertise for the project. “All design work, computer programming and the electrical and mechanical systems were 100% student creations, with the majority of financial support coming from the Honda Canada Foundation and Michelin Bridgewater employees. We also appreciate all of our local businesses such as Associate Chiropractors, PRO-Oceanus, Pleasantville Signs, and others who supported these students in their work”, says Byron.”
“The South Shore Regional Centre of Education and our entire community can be proud of these home grown engineers!” They were ambassadors for the province of Nova Scotia, handling themselves with dignity, warmth and kindness to others. “These youth are the future and the future is bright!”
If you are in Junior High, you might be interested to know that Byron also offers a program for students in Grade 7-8, out of Bridgewater Junior High School. It is an excellent foundation/training group that will lead to the senior high (grades 9-12) team.
The South Shore Robotics team is looking for more sponsors to help them keep the momentum of this innovative program going. If you would like to help, contact Byron Butt at firstname.lastname@example.org.