The PVIT underwater ROV team was started in 2008 to enter the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) competition. Since that time the current PVIT ROV team has enjoyed increasing levels of success. When the current team were freshmen (2010) they came in second at the Southern California Regional MATE Competition. In 2011 they entered two teams and captured first and third at the regional competition. The first place team advanced to the International MATE Competition at the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Lab. In 2012 the ROV team won the regional competition and again, advanced to the International Competition. Out of 569 high schools that started in the regional competition they came in second at the International Competition.
The MATE ROV competition provides an opportunity for the ROV team members to learn the fundamentals of waterproofing, electrical circuit design and manufacture, hydrodynamic frame design and construction, thruster control and task specific tool development. The students have learned year after year that their knowledge and experience increases and allows for ever more sophisticated systems. The fun and excitement of designing and building is interspersed with the frustrations inherent in rough times and troubleshooting problems. The ROV team members learned to solve these problems and create functioning subsystems which are combined into the final ROV. The completed ROV, with all its subsystems represents hundreds of hours of team effort that can perform specified tasks at the MATE competition. The satisfaction that comes as a result of continuous effort throughout the year is an important lesson and experience that is otherwise not achievable in high school. This project is just one example of what is available to students who participate in PVIT.