Student Experience & Impact

I loved competing […]! I learned both technical skills and leadership skills, and it inspired me  to pursue a career in engineering.

MATE II offers the ROV competition as a way to:

·     Engage students in STEM and and expose them to science and technology careers

·     Encourage students to develop and apply technical, teamwork, and problem solving skills

·     Provide funds, materials, and technical expertise to support student learning

·     Provide industry with skilled individuals who can fill workforce needs

The competition requires students to think of themselves as “entrepreneurs” and transform their teams into companies that manufacture, market, and sell “products.”  In addition to engineering their ROVs, the students are required to prepare technical documentation, marketing (poster) displays, and engineering presentations that are delivered to working professionals who serve as competition judges.

The program has a long history of assessing impact (Please see the 2019 Student Impact Study PRINT WEB). Evaluation relies on multiple data sources: student, parent, teacher, and judge surveys; National Student Clearinghouse post-secondary data match; student alumni survey; and competition scoring.  We track students’ interest in and knowledge of STEM careers; interest in STEM topics; STEM skills/knowledge; 21st Century skills; and educational and career paths. Analysis also explores the effect of multi-year participation and disparate impacts by demographic group. (Click here for a comprehensive analysis of our program.)


Results of our 2015 alumni survey (N=432) help to demonstrate the program’s long-term impact:

  • 85% of college degrees (N=220) were STEM degrees
  • 85% of college students (N=236) were STEM majors
  • 73% of employed alumni (N=320) had a STEM-related job
  • 67% (N=432) credit the program with influencing their education/career
  • The program played a role in attaining employment (37%), college admittance (36%), internships (30%), awards (21%), and scholarships (21%)