Tribal Grant Supports STEM Camp

Congratulations to another Oregon Coast STEM Hub partner who has received funds to provide STEM education experiences for students living on the Oregon Coast. From the Oregon Coast Daily News:

Siletz Tribal Grant will Help Students Go To Earthquake Camp:

The Central Oregon Coast NOW Foundation is excited to announce that it was awarded a grant from the Siletz Tribal Charitable Fund of $1661.00 to be used by the Central Oregon Coast Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Committee for its planned summer 2016 Earthquake Camp for girls.

Central Oregon Coast Chapter of NOW has an active STEM Committee, and its members are involved in a variety of activities throughout the year:

In addition to the Engineering Camp, the STEM committee also hopes to conduct a “Starry Night” astronomy camp for girls during the summer of 2016. Central Oregon Coast NOW has helped sponsor two girls robotics teams, and also the 2015 GEMS (Girls in Engineering and Marine Science) Camp. Some of the STEM committee members have served as mentors for the Newport Science Fair students, and as judges for the MATE ROV robotics competitions.

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As details about STEM summer camps and events becomes available they will be shared on the Oregon Coast STEM Hub website.


Central Oregon Coast National Organization for Women is a partner in the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.

ROV Displayed at Aquarium

Students’ Underwater Robot Returns to Aquarium after Trip Abroad
Oregon Coast Aquarium

Newport, Oregon—At first glance, a cube of PVC pipe trailed by a string of wires and cables is a puzzling presence for some Oregon Coast Aquarium visitors in the new exhibit, Secrets of Shipwrecks: Part History. Part Mystery.

In the exhibit, it represents one of the tools researchers use for underwater exploration and archaeology, and pays homage to the fact that people from all walks of life can wield this technology.

The contraption sports scratches and wear, and zip-ties hold repurposed plastic water bottles to its control tether. The underwater remotely operated vehicle, or ROV for short, is the creation of three Taft High School students under guidance of Science Department Chair Noah Lambie.

Team RUWE (Robotic Underwater Exploration) created the ROV for the Oregon Regional MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) Competition. Each student assumed a role, with Kyle Macrae as CFO, Hunter Bishop as CEO and Eneki Trujillo as Head Engineer. RUWE took the title in the Ranger Class, qualifying them for the international competition at Newfoundland, Canada.

RUWE-poolsideThe opportunity to compete against 60 other teams from universities and prestigious prep schools across the globe presented a tremendous opportunity and set of challenges. Their winnings only covered a portion of the trip, Lambie and the students started a crowdfunding campaign, and sold totes and shirts to make up the difference.

The trio’s previous triumph was in a fresh water pool – not deeper than 12 feet, but the international competition would plunge the students’ robot in Arctic Ocean conditions.

RUWE-inwaterRUWE knew they needed to adjust the robot’s buoyancy control for deep, saline water, and were unsure how their ROV would react to the cold. Lambie reached out to the Aquarium for help. Their first test drive in the Passages of the Deep exhibit deflated the bicycle tube, sending their buoyancy control plans back to the drawing board. Round two proved more successful, and as June drew to a close they headed to Canada.

They found fierce competition; many of the rival ROVs cost more than ten times Taft High’s students’ budget, and were handled by college students. Their innovation and dedication earned them 20th place out of 63 competitors, and the “Bang for the Buck” award.

“This was a huge opportunity for my students,” said Lambie. “They are very capable, natural and intuitive with robotics. Just give them a few projects, a little bit of guidance and let them go.”

RUWE-underwaterThe Aquarium offered to exhibit the ROV to honor Team RUWE, and in hopes of inspiring more applied-STEM projects in classrooms and beyond.  The ROV will be on display through December of 2016.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is dedicated to the highest quality aquatic and marine science programs for recreation and education so that the public better understands, cherishes, and conserves the world’s natural marine and coastal resources. An accredited Association of Zoos & Aquariums institution, this 501(c)3 non-profit organization is ranked as one of the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. Visit us at 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR., 541-867-3474. Follow us on, or for the latest updates.


The Oregon Coast Aquarium and Taft High School (Lincoln County School District) are partners in the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.  In addition, the Oregon Coast STEM Hub and Oregon Sea Grant coordinate the Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition with support from MATE, the Oregon Coast Aquarium, the Marine Technology Society, AUVSI, The Sexton Corporation, and Oregon State University.  The next Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition will be held April 30, 2016 in North Bend, Oregon.

S.S. Morning Star Update

ss_morning_star (600x448)The student-built unmanned sailboat S.S. Morning Star has entered new territory! Educational Passages reports that the vessel launched from the University of Washington’s R/V Thompson last August is alive and well just north of Hawaii. This is the furthest west that any of the GPS-equipped 5 foot sailboats in the program has traveled in the Pacific Ocean, and its position on the globe required data managers to actually rewrite code so they could keep up with its progress!

Follow its track here:

The S.S. Morning Star was built by students at Tillamook High School during the spring of 2015, using materials provided to them by the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.  The crew of the R/V Thompson released the boat at sea on August 15th during its research expedition to the Axial Seamount. See photos and read a description of the deployment day on the Axial Seamount Expedition 2015 blog.

The S.S. Morning Star is the third student-built sailboat supported by the Oregon Coast STEM Hub that has been deployed in the Pacific. The other boats were built by students in Waldport (Phyxius) and in Coos Bay (S.S. Dolphin).