Underwater Robots Help Students Develop Technical Skills

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 10.06.20 AMOn a global basis, the economic importance of ocean industries cannot be overstated. Between three and five percent of Europe’s gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to be generated by marine-based industries and services (not including the value of raw materials, such as oil, gas, or fish), and Europe’s maritime regions account for more than 40% of its GDP. Ocean industries contribute nearly Can$23 million and more than US$117 billion to their respective GDPs. Marine-related industries require highly skilled technical professionals to continue to grow their contribution to the global economy. Recruiting well-trained and competent professionals is critical to their survival.

Yet, despite the critical need for a well-prepared marine workforce, reliable information about marine technology careers has not been widely available to students and educators, which results in an historical shortage of well-trained and educated technical workers. To help address the increasing need for an appropriately trained and educated marine technology workforce, the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center was established in 1997 with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

This journal article explains how MATE uses remotely operated vehicles — underwater robots — to get students interested in marine technology and connect them with industry professionals and well-paying jobs.

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