Gila Monsters place third in underwater robotics competition

Courtesy photo The Gila Monsters 4-H underwater robotics team. From left: Coach Toni DeAnda-Solberg, Lily Meister, Kaley Quintana, Coach David Flores, Xavier Hansen and Aston Martin.

On Saturday, May 6 four teams from Gila County competed at the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) remote operated vehicle competition at the University of Arizona. The Gila Monsters, representing Southern Gila County 4-H, placed third overall at the regional competition.

According to the MATE philosophy, the competition “is designed to be an educational and inspirational event for students that challenges them to apply the physics, math, electronics and engineering skills they are learning in the classroom to solving practical problems in the marine workplace.”

Fifteen teams from across the state participated in the regional events, which included remote operated vehicle demonstrations, engineering presentations and a marketing display.

Regardless of the competition outcomes, the participants had similar eagerness about the program. Many asked, “When can we start planning for next year?”