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MATE | Marine Advanced Technology Education Center



Marine Advanced Technology
Education Center
Monterey, CA

Deidre Sullivan
Principal Investigator (PI)
(831) 646-3081
Marine technicians retrieve an oceanographic buoy.

MATE has longitudinal data on 252 students who participated in its At-Sea Internship Program. Most of the former interns now work in STEM careers; 42% in marine STEM fields.

MATE Integrates Workforce Research into Programs

MATE was instrumental in working with its partner community colleges to create nine new degree programs aligned with workforce research and trends. MATE’s workforce research, jointly funded by the ONR, NOAA, NASA and NSF, has produced knowledge and skill guidelines for seven marine technical occupations.

The center has also helped 29 of its partner colleges develop, update, and revise courses and programs. Approximately 9,000 students have enrolled in marine technology-related programs at its community college partners over the last 14 years; more than 4,000 of these students have earned technology certificates or degrees.

MATE Creates Workforce-Ready Employees

MATE provides students with work experiences and helps them develop workforce-ready attitudes through its underwater robotics (remotely operated vehicle or ROV) competitions, at-sea internship program, and SeaMATE. SeaMATE is a social enterprise that puts community college students to work manufacturing ROV kits for K-12 schools.

Featured in a documentary, book, and Hollywood film, MATE’s ROV competitions use underwater robots as a platform to engage students in STEM and demonstrate how these disciplines are applied in the real world.

MATE’s ROV competitions require students to organize themselves into a company structure with each student taking on a specific role (e.g. CEO, CFO, engineering lead, marketing lead, etc.). Through the process students develop skills in project management, technical writing, communication, teamwork, entrepreneurship and leadership. The students prepare technical reports, marketing displays, and engineering presentations that are delivered to working professionals. They use rubrics to evaluate the students’ work.

Ocean and other technology-related employers use the competition to find and recruit new talent. To date, the MATE Center and its regional partners have coordinated 14 international and 180 regional ROV competitions that have involved more than 15,000 students in grades 4-16.