The site of an underwater robotics competition for high school and college students is being “outsourced” to Canada, prompting the creation of an alternative competition to be hosted at Chandler High School next summer.
On Monday, organizers and community leaders announced the formation of the National Underwater Robotics Competition.
The idea for the competition came from Chandler High information technology teacher Sam Alexander and his former colleagues at Phoenix’s Carl Hayden High School. They attended the International ROV Competition for High School and College Students in Texas this summer when they learned the event would go to Canada in 2007 — and wondered if a new competition could be hosted in Arizona.
Chandler High Principal Terry Williams said he consulted with representatives from Intel Corp. — one of his school’s robotics team sponsors — about the feasibility of holding the new competition at the high school’s aquatics complex.
“We wouldn’t mind being the host school from here on,” Williams said.
High school and college competitors from across the nation will converge on the school’s outdoor pool with their underwater robots in June and will try to remove objects from a sunken submarine. All robots will need cameras and lights since the competition will run from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Carl Hayden High robotics instructor Allan Cameron said the underwater robots not only strengthen students’ problem-solving skills, but also usher them toward the science and engineering career fields. “Those are the fields that are severely lagging behind,” Cameron said.
His team made national headlines when it beat the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for first place at the national competition in 2005.