At the regional competitions held in Plymouth, Southampton, Sheffield, Newcastle and Glasgow the teams competed to design and build an ROV using Lego Mindstorms. Lego Mindstorms is a hardware-software platform produced by Lego for the development of programmable robots based on Lego building blocks. Each version of the system includes an intelligent brick computer that controls the system, a set of modular sensors and motors, and Lego parts from the Technic line to create the mechanical systems.
The national final was hosted by Subsea 7 on the 6th March and the winners from each regional heat; Cantell School (Southampton), Plymouth High School for Girls, All Saints Catholic High School (Sheffield), Royal Grammar School (Newcastle) and Williamwood High School (Glasgow), travelled to Aberdeen take part.
In the final, the teams were faced with an environmental incident where plastic barrels had fallen into the sea and they were tasked with designing an ROV and using sensors, grabbers and beacons to gather the barrels as quickly as possible.
The teams then had to test their design and present their findings to a panel of judges, which included representatives from sponsors Fugro, Saab Seaeye, SMD and Subsea 7. Points were awarded on a number of criteria including teamwork, understanding of the subsea industry, number of barrels collected, time taken to collect barrels and the quality of the design.
The team from All Saints Catholic High School in Sheffield were crowned champions of the Subsea UK 2019 STEM Challenge. Maeve Burrell, a pupil on the winning team from All Saints Catholic High School, said: "Taking part in the Subsea UK STEM challenge has been exciting and I have really enjoyed it. The event has made me think about my future and how I could take the skills I have now and develop them into a career, potentially within the subsea industry.”