Prairie Upper School student Mike Mason, grade 11 of Hales Corners was part a group of students took 2nd place at the second annual Wisconsin Regional Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) Competition sponsored by Marine Advance Technology Education (MATE) on Sunday, March 6. This year's competition, held at Discovery World and UW-Milwaukee Pool, mimicked the Gulf Oil disaster on a much smaller scale. The students designed and built an underwater robot that would simulate cutting and removing a damaged oil riser pipe, shut off the oil supply valve, cap the well and then perform several other exploratory missions within a 15-minute time deadline. The competition also required the team to write an engineering report under the guidance of an outside consultant, Dr. Kurt Thomsen of KOT Environmental Consulting. The report was presented to a team of judges consisting of local engineers as part of the competition.
"What made our team unique was that it was virtually 100% student led," said Richard Craig, team coach and Prairie math and science teacher. "Although they had two coaches, they selected roles such as project leader, design engineers, pilots, etc., and operated as if they were an independent company."
The Prairie School is an independent, child-centered, day school for children in early/pre-school through high school located in Wind Point, Wis. www.prairieschool.com
[PHOTO CAPTION]: The 2nd place Prairie team members (front row, from left): Rachel Orlovsky, grade 11; Natalie Tremblay, grade 11; Jeremy Preischel, grade 11; Mike Mason, grade 11; Matt Basil, grade 11; Dennis Latyshev, grade 11; Zach Kant, grade 9; David Olson, grade 10; Luke Trevino, grade 10; Mr. Richard Craig, coach (back row): Mr. Mark Orlovsky, coach