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June 21, 2018

The spring/summer 2018 issue of Confluence, a newsletter about Oregon Sea Grant’s research, outreach and educational programs, is now available for download. Inside this eight-page issue, you’ll find the following stories:

Cover of the spring/summer 2018 issue of Oregon Sea Grant's newsletter, Confluence

The spring/summer 2018 issue of Oregon Sea Grant’s newsletter, Confluence, is now available for free download.

Want to receive the next issue of Confluence in your email? Click here.

under: Confluence, crab, ecology, environment, events, Extension, fellowships, fisheries, fishermen, free-choice learning, HMSC Visitor Center, internships, kids, marine animals, marine education, marine mammals, marine science, news, ocean literacy, oceanography, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, people, research, scholarships, science education, Sea Grant Scholars, seafood, social science, STEM education, tsunami, whales
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Beaverton students qualify for international underwater robotics contest in Washington

Posted by: | May 2, 2018 Comments Off on Beaverton students qualify for international underwater robotics contest in Washington |

5-2-18

by Tracy Crews and Tiffany Woods

BEAVERTON, Ore. – Students from Valor Christian School International in Beaverton have qualified for an international underwater robotics competition in Washington after placing first at a similar regional contest in Lincoln City that tested their engineering and problem-solving skills.

A team of students demonstrates their entry in the Oregon Regional MATE ROV competition on April 28 at the Lincoln City Community Center.

A team of students demonstrates their entry in the Oregon Regional MATE ROV competition on April 28 at the Lincoln City Community Center. (Photo by Cait Goodwin)

The team, called Valor Maritime International, was one of 40 teams from Oregon and southern Washington that participated in the 7th annual Oregon Regional Marine Advanced Technology Education Remotely Operated Vehicle competition on April 28 at the Lincoln City Community Center. In the pool, students from elementary school through high school demonstrated devices they built for the competition, which aims to prepare students for careers involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Oregon teams hailed from Port Orford, Brookings, Gold Beach, Coos Bay, Toledo, Newport, Lincoln City, Tigard, Warrenton, Beaverton, The Dalles, Florence, Tillamook and Aloha. Four Washington teams came from White Salmon and Ridgefield.

The competition, which was coordinated by Oregon Sea Grant and sponsored by the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, was divided into several categories based on skill and grade level. Students placing first in the Ranger category advanced to the 17th annual international competition, which will be held June 21-23 at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

Students watch their entry's progress in the MATE ROV competition.

Students watch their entry’s progress in the MATE ROV competition. (Photo by Tracy Crews)

The competition in Lincoln City was one of 31 regional contests held around the world that are supported by the California-based Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center.

Each year a new theme is chosen. This year’s theme highlights the role remotely operated vehicles – or ROVs – play in the Pacific Northwest, with a focus on archaeology, seismology and renewable energy. Teams were tasked with building an underwater robot that could locate and retrieve the hypothetical wreckage of a downed airplane, deploy hypothetical equipment to monitor earthquakes, and install simulated renewable energy devices. Students also formed mock companies, gave presentations and created plans to manufacture, market and sell their devices.

Additional support for the regional event came from: Oregon State University, the MATE Center, the Marine Technology Society, and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. More than 50 volunteers served as divers and scorekeepers as well as judges, who evaluated the robots, posters and engineering presentations.

The First Place Ranger team, "Valor Maritime International," from Valor Christian School International in Beaverton, Oregon, is headed for the international MATE ROV competition in Washington on June 21-23.

The First Place Ranger team, “Valor Maritime International,” from Valor Christian School International in Beaverton, Oregon, is headed for the international MATE ROV competition in Washington on June 21-23. (Photo by R. McDonald)

Winners of the competition in Oregon are:

RANGER CLASS (advanced level, 1st place finisher advances to international competition)
1st Place — Valor Maritime International from Valor Christian School International
2nd Place — Laveer Enterprise from Life Christian School in Aloha
3rd Place — Knight Marine from Valor Christian School International

NAVIGATOR CLASS (intermediate level, participates only in regional competition)
1st Place — ROV Sharks from Wasco County 4-H in The Dalles
2nd Place — JJICE from Siuslaw High School in Florence
3rd Place — Waterlogged from Tillamook High School

SCOUT CLASS (novice level, participates only in regional competition)
1st Place — Water Warriors from Warrenton Grade School
2nd Place — Water Whisperers from Warrenton Middle School
3rd Place — Valient Technologies from Valor Christian School International

The STEMinists from Wallace and Priscilla Stevenson Intermediate School in White Salmon won an award for team spirit.

A video of the 2017 competition in Oregon is on Oregon Sea Grant’s YouTube channel.

You can view photos of the 2018 competition in Oregon online.

under: engineering, events, kids, marine education, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, STEM education
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Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center to fully reopen March 24

Posted by: | March 19, 2018 Comments Off on Visitor Center at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center to fully reopen March 24 |

3-19-18

By Tiffany Woods and Mark Floyd

The popular public education wing of Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport will fully reopen on March 24 after closing for repairs in early December.

HMSC Visitor Center entrance

A giant decal of an octopus greets the public as they enter the Visitor Center at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. Oregon Sea Grant operates the Visitor Center. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

The front part of the facility, known as the Visitor Center, reopened in February for festivities celebrating OSU’s 150th anniversary while work in the back half continued. Crews replaced the rusting, 21-year-old metal stands under many of the saltwater tanks, removed some exhibits, and created artificial rockwork modeled after real formations in Yachats.

Although the tank stands are now finished, additional renovations are ongoing and many of the tanks’ denizens are still in other locations at Hatfield. Oregon Sea Grant, which operates the Visitor Center, plans to create a “habitat” theme around the tanks so that as visitors walk through they will move from shore to shallows to deep sea. Exhibits will be created to display examples of research taking place in each of those environments, said the center’s manager, Maureen Collson.

Every year, Collson said, about 150,000 people pass through the doors of the Visitor Center, where they can touch aquatic critters in an indoor tidepool, crash simulated tsunami waves against Lego structures, or watch an aquarist feed the octopus.

Octopus on display at the HMSC Visitor Center

A giant Pacific octopus is on display at the Visitor Center at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. This octopus was on display in 2011 but others have since replaced it. (Photo by Pat Kight)

Oregon Sea Grant commissioned an analysis in 2017 by Bruce Sorte, an economist with the OSU Extension Service, to find out the economic impact of the center. He surveyed 131 visitors and found that 39 percent said that half or more of their reason for visiting Lincoln County was to go to the center. Based on that and other numbers, he estimated that the Visitor Center annually supports $7.6 million in income for Oregonians, $13.2 million in sales for businesses in Oregon, and 156 jobs throughout the state. About three-quarters of those impacts occur in Lincoln County, Sorte said.

These figures include the salaries paid to employees at the center and a multiplier effect of those dollars, the amount of money visitors spend on food and lodging, and the household expenditures of Oregon Sea Grant employees and people who supply goods and services linked to the center.

“Since 1965, the Visitor Center has been teaching children and adults about marine science through fun, hands-on exhibits,” said Shelby Walker, the director of Oregon Sea Grant. “Although you can’t put a price tag on the value of that experience, as Bruce’s analysis shows, we can estimate the important economic contribution of the Visitor Center to Lincoln County and the state.”

The total annual cost to operate the center is $460,000, funded by the federal government, OSU and donations from visitors. The facility is staffed by Oregon Sea Grant faculty, who are assisted by more than 60 volunteers.

The Visitor Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Thursday-Monday through Memorial Day, then from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until Labor Day.

under: events, Extension, free-choice learning, HMSC Visitor Center, kids, marine animals, marine education, news, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, science education
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Report: HMSC Visitor Center generates an estimated $7.6 million in statewide income annually

Posted by: | February 16, 2018 Comments Off on Report: HMSC Visitor Center generates an estimated $7.6 million in statewide income annually |

2-16-18

by Rick Cooper

The Visitor Center at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon, generates more than 10 times as much as it costs to operate, according to a new report by Bruce Sorte, an Extension economist with Oregon State University’s Department of Applied Economics.

The total annual cost to operate the Visitor Center is $460,000 in 2017 dollars. As estimated in this report, that $460,000 generates more than 10 times as much in economic effects, with $5.4 million in income, $9.7 million in sales, and 133 jobs for Lincoln County. Statewide, the Visitor Center generates $7.6 million in income, $13.2 million in sales, and 156 jobs.

HMSC Visitor Center entrance

The Oregon Sea Grant-operated Visitor Center at HMSC. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

Sorte said in the report that he used data from two types of surveys and the IMPLAN (IMpact analysis for PLANning) input-output model to estimate the annual economic contributions.

The Visitor Center, which is operated by Oregon Sea Grant, is supported primarily with federal and OSU funds, along with some donations from the approximately 150,000 visitors it attracts annually. Thirty-nine percent of visitors surveyed indicated that half or more of their reason for coming to the Oregon coast was to visit the Visitor Center. The percentage of visitors citing the Visitor Center as their reason for traveling to Lincoln County was the same.

The report, Economic Linkages and Impact Analysis for the Oregon Sea Grant-Operated Visitor Center at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, is available for free download here.

The Visitor Center has been undergoing extensive remodeling since early December and will partially reopen for the OSU150 Sea Grant Festival on Saturday, Feb. 17., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Its regular hours after that will be 10 to 4 Thursday-Monday.

 

under: events, Extension, free-choice learning, HMSC Visitor Center, jobs, marine education, marine science, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, publications
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February events to showcase OSU’s and Oregon Sea Grant’s marine research and outreach

Posted by: | January 22, 2018 Comments Off on February events to showcase OSU’s and Oregon Sea Grant’s marine research and outreach |

1/22/18

By Tiffany Woods

CORVALLIS, Ore. – As part of its 150th anniversary, Oregon State University will highlight its decades of marine-related research and public outreach Feb. 12-24 with a variety of free tours and talks on campus and along the coast.

The southern view from Heceta Head.

The Sea Grant Festival will showcase OSU’s and Oregon Sea Grant’s marine research and outreach. (Photo by Tiffany Woods)

The OSU150 Sea Grant Festival will take place in Corvallis, Portland, Newport, Port Orford, Coos Bay and Astoria. It will include presentations by scientists, tours of the Hatfield Marine Science Center, a taste test of fresh versus frozen fish, and screenings of an OSU-produced documentary about coral reefs. Information about the events is online. Some have limited capacity and require registration.

Some of the talks and tours will be offered by people who either work for Oregon Sea Grant or whose work has been funded by the program, which has been based at OSU since 1971.

“Oregon Sea Grant works on many issues facing our coast, from engaging with the fishing industry to helping communities prepare for hazards,” said the program’s director, Shelby Walker. “We serve as a neutral third party, bringing people together and providing the science and information they need to make informed decisions. We also fund marine-related research at universities throughout Oregon, have more than a dozen Extension specialists along the coast and in Corvallis, and operate the public education wing of the Hatfield Marine Science Center.”

under: events, lectures, marine science, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University
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‘State of the Coast’ conference draws 250 people to Florence

Posted by: | November 3, 2017 Comments Off on ‘State of the Coast’ conference draws 250 people to Florence |

11-3-17

About 250 people attended Oregon Sea Grant’s annual State of the Coast conference, which was held this year in Florence on Oct. 28.

Sarah Seabrook explains her research to Leigh Torres during the State of the Coast conference.

Sarah Seabrook (left) explains her research to Leigh Torres during the State of the Coast conference. (Photo: Tiffany Woods)

That figure includes 40 speakers, 35 students who explained their research in a poster session, and eight exhibiting artists, said Jamie Doyle, an Oregon Sea Grant faculty member who helped organize the event. The students came from Oregon State University, Portland State University and the University of Oregon.

Rick Spinrad, a former chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a former vice president for research at OSU, gave the keynote address.

To see photos, visit Oregon Sea Grant’s Flickr page.

under: conferences, ecosystem-based-management, environment, events, fisheries, lectures, marine animals, marine education, marine mammals, marine policy, marine science, marine spatial planning, NOAA, ocean law and policy, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, science education, seafood
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‘State of the Coast’ conference set for Oct. 28 in Florence

Posted by: | October 13, 2017 Comments Off on ‘State of the Coast’ conference set for Oct. 28 in Florence |

10-13-17

By Tiffany Woods

Registration has opened for Oregon Sea Grant’s annual State of the Coast conference, which will be held Oct. 28 in Florence.

Shelby Walker addresses the audience at Oregon Sea Grant’s State of the Coast Conference at Gleneden Beach in 2016. She is the director of Oregon Sea Grant. (Photo by Charles Robinson)

Billed as Oregon’s coastal conference for everyone, the event aims to bring together the public, scientists, fishermen, resource managers, teachers, students and conservationists. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn, network and talk about the current status and future of Oregon’s marine environment.

The keynote speaker will be Rick Spinrad, the chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 2014 to January 2017. He was also the vice president of research at Oregon State University from 2010 to 2014.

Under this year’s theme of “innovation,” presentations and hands-on activities will include the following topics:

  • invasive European green crabs
  • pyrosomes, the jelly-like, tube-shaped organisms that were seen off the Oregon coast in unusually large numbers this year
  • coastal governance and coastal-related legislation
  • the science behind fresh and frozen seafood
  • innovations in observing marine mammals
  • marine gear and technology
  • engaging communities in art
  • tracking local and global seafood across the supply chain
  • forecasting ocean conditions for recreation, profit and safety
  • managing estuaries for everyone

Marie Kowalski, a former master’s student at Oregon State University, talks about her research on mitigating microplastics at Oregon Sea Grant’s State of the Coast Conference in Coos Bay in 2015. (Photo by Anne Farrell-Matthews)

Additionally, students from various universities in Oregon will talk about their coastal research. Also, a coastal chef will demonstrate how to prepare various types of seafood.

Registration in advance is recommended as space is limited. Cost is $35 for the public and $25 for students. It includes refreshments, lunch and a raffle ticket. The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes with a reception that starts at 4 p.m. For more information and to register, visit www.stateofthecoast.com. The event will take place at the Florence Events Center at 715 Quince St.

under: beach safety, citizen science, ecology, environment, events, fisheries, fishermen, invasive species, lectures, marine animals, marine education, marine mammals, marine science, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, people, science education, seafood, Seafood preparation, seafood safety, waterfronts
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New video shows how underwater robotics contest prepares kids for technical jobs

Posted by: | July 25, 2017 Comments Off on New video shows how underwater robotics contest prepares kids for technical jobs |

July 25, 2017

A new video shows how Oregon students are preparing for technical careers by building underwater robots for an annual competition in which they demonstrate their skills in front of engineers and scientists.

Contestants in MATE ROV competition learn engineering and problem solving skills. (photo by Daniel Cespedes)

The video, which was produced by Oregon State University with funding from Oregon Sea Grant, was filmed during the 2017 Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition, which Oregon Sea Grant coordinates. It is one of about 30 regional contests around the world in which students qualify for an annual international competition.

Contestants operate their underwater devices remotely, and sometimes with a video monitor. (photo by Daniel Cespedes)

“Our goal is to really get students interested in science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — and connect them with marine technicians and engineers and marine scientists that utilize remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs,” Tracy Crews, the manager of Oregon Sea Grant’s marine education program, said in the video.

Contestants often have to troubleshoot in real time. (photo by Daniel Cespedes)

Thirty-one teams from Oregon participated in this year’s competition, which was held in April at the pool at the Lincoln City Community Center. More than 200 students from elementary school through college demonstrated devices they built.

“For students who struggle with conventional school, it’s a chance for them to really shine,” Melissa Steinman, a teacher at Waldport High School, said in the video.

A new theme is chosen each year. This year’s theme highlighted the role of remotely operated vehicles in monitoring the environment and supporting industries in port cities. Like port managers and marine researchers, the students guided their robots through tasks that simulated identifying cargo containers that fell overboard, repairing equipment, and taking samples of hypothetically contaminated sediment and shellfish. Students also presented marketing materials they created and gave engineering presentations.

“A couple of teams, they just nailed it,” Ken Sexton, one of the judges and owner of The Sexton Corp., said in the video.

Students were also tasked with creating mock companies, thinking like entrepreneurs and working together to “manufacture, market, and sell” their robots. The students gained project management and communication skills as they managed a budget, worked as a team, brainstormed solutions and delivered presentations.

“Some of my team members are really, really good at programming, now,” Natalie DeWitt, a senior at Newport High School, said in the video. “And we have one kid who is really good at using CAD software design, now. And they actually had internships over the summer … those experiences we had in robotics gave us qualifications for jobs that we wouldn’t have had before.”

“It’s really good problem-solving, teamwork, just everything all together. It really helps … you have better skills for the future,” said Kyle Brown, a junior at Bandon High School.

Photos from the 2017 contest in Oregon are on Oregon Sea Grant’s Flickr page at c.kr/s/aHskYZdMiF

Volunteer scuba divers helped out at Oregon’s 6th annual Marine Advanced Technology Education Remotely Operated Vehicle competition at the pool at the Lincoln City Community Center. (photo by Daniel Cespedes)

under: engineering, environment, events, kids, marine education, marine science, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, science education, technology, videos
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New video: ‘Tsunami Quests’ help coastal residents and visitors prepare for major earthquake and tsunami

Posted by: | June 8, 2017 Comments Off on New video: ‘Tsunami Quests’ help coastal residents and visitors prepare for major earthquake and tsunami |

Scientists say there is a 30 percent chance of a massive earthquake and tsunami striking the Pacific Northwest in the next 50 years. One way coastal residents and visitors can prepare for such a disaster is to learn evacuation routes.

A new video from Oregon Sea Grant, “Tsunami Quests,” reveals how the program is helping coastal residents and visitors prepare. One way it does this is by teaching people how to create and use self-guided evacuation routes modeled after a treasure hunt.

In these hunts, which are called Quests, walkers follow a map and a series of educational clues about their surroundings to reach higher ground. At the end, they find a hidden box that contains a guest book and rubber stamp to mark their accomplishment. The aim is that by exploring these routes for fun in their free time, residents and visitors will later know where to flee in the event of a tsunami.

Background

In February 2016, Oregon Sea Grant (OSG) organized a series of workshops at the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) in Newport, Oregon, to bring educators, state parks personnel, researchers and emergency management experts together to discuss how communities can prepare for tsunamis. Participants also learned how to help students create a tsunami Quest.

In the spring of 2016, workshop attendees imparted their knowledge to 120 Newport seventh-graders at HMSC. The students listened to presentations from engineers and geologists, studied tsunami inundation maps and interpretive signs, calculated how fast they would need to walk to escape, and learned about soil liquefaction. They also walked an evacuation route that starts at the OSG-operated Visitor Center at HMSC, which is expected to be flooded during a tsunami, and ends about a mile away, atop Safe Haven Hill. The students created a Tsunami Quest for that route and tested the activity on community members and two classes of fifth-graders in Newport. Their Quest is online (“HMSC Tsunami Quest,” http://bit.ly/2s0O1YI). To date, nearly 300 people have walked the HMSC Tsunami Quest.

Partners

Partners in the Tsunami Quests effort include the Lincoln County School District, Oregon State University, Oregon Parks and Recreation, Hatfield Marine Science Center, the Gray Family Foundation, and the OSUEA Hoecker Award.

Watch

You can watch the three-minute video here:

Tsunami Quests was filmed and edited by Vanessa Cholewczynski and Tiffany Woods.

under: beach safety, coastal hazards, courses, classes and workshops, earthquake, environment, events, free-choice learning, HMSC Visitor Center, kids, marine education, marine safety, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, tsunami, videos
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Newport HS students qualify for international underwater robotics contest

Posted by: | May 3, 2017 Comments Off on Newport HS students qualify for international underwater robotics contest |

Students from Newport High School have qualified for an international underwater robotics competition in California after placing first at a similar contest in Lincoln City that tested their engineering and problem-solving skills.

“The Finnovators” were one of 31 teams from Oregon that participated in the state’s 6th annual Marine Advanced Technology Education Remotely Operated Vehicle competition on April 29 at the pool at the Lincoln City Community Center. More than 200 students from elementary school through college demonstrated devices they built for the competition, which aims to prepare students for technical careers.

Teams hailed from Astoria, Warrenton, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Newport, Toledo, Eddyville, Waldport, Florence, Bandon, Albany, Aloha, Tigard, Beaverton and The Dalles.

The competition, which was coordinated by Oregon Sea Grant and sponsored by the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, was divided into four categories based on skill and grade level. Only two of the categories, Ranger and Explorer, allowed students to advance to the 16th annual international competition, which will be held June 23-25 in Long Beach, Calif., and will feature the top 60 teams from around the globe, including ones from Canada, the United Kingdom, the Middle East and Russia.

“The Finnovators” were in the Ranger level, which requires students to perform all tasks without looking in the pool and instead rely only on the sensors and cameras on their robot. Although they are not required to compete in the regional competition, two Explorer-level teams from Linn-Benton Community College and Clatsop Community College demonstrated their robots. They, along with another Explorer team from Oregon State University, are working on fulfilling requirements to qualify for the international competition.

The Oregon event is one of 30 regional contests around the world that are coordinated by the California-based Marine Advanced Technology Education Center.

Each year a new theme is chosen. This year’s theme highlights the role of remotely operated vehicles – or ROVs – in monitoring the environment and supporting industries in port cities. Like port managers and marine researchers, the students at the Lincoln City contest guided their robots through tasks that simulated identifying cargo containers that fell overboard, repairing equipment, and taking samples of hypothetically contaminated sediment and shellfish. Students also presented marketing materials they created and gave engineering presentations.

Additional support for the event came from the MATE Center, the Marine Technology Society, the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Oregon State University, the Oregon Coast Aquarium, the Georgia-Pacific Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. More than 50 volunteers from these and other organizations ran the competition and served as judges and divers.

Photos of the competition can be downloaded from Oregon Sea Grant’s Flickr page.

Read more about the event in the Newport News Times.

Winners of the Oregon competition are:
RANGER CLASS (intermediate level, 1st place finisher advances to international competition)

1st Place – The Finnovators from Newport High School in Newport

2nd Place – Knight Marine from Valor Christian School International in Beaverton

3rd Place – R.U.W.E. from Taft High School in Lincoln City

NAVIGATOR CLASS (intermediate level, participates only in regional competition)

1st Place – Laveer Enterprise from Life Christian School in Aloha

2nd Place – EROV from Taft High School in Lincoln City

3rd Place – ROV Sharks from Wasco County 4-H in The Dalles

SCOUT CLASS (novice level, participates only in regional competition)

1st Place – Valor Tech from Valor Christian School International in Beaverton

2nd Place – Jet Sky from Siuslaw High School in Florence

3rd Place – Water Warriors from Warrenton Grade School in Warrenton

ADDITIONAL AWARD

Team Spirit Award – Water Warriors from Warrenton Grade School in Warrenton

under: awards, engineering, events, kids, marine education, marine science, news, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, people, STEM education, technology
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