SKAGIT COUNTY, Wash. - If an oil spill like the April 2010 BP disaster occurs again, members of the WSU Extension Sea-Tech 4-H Club just might be the future scientists to address it.
Fascinated by science, engineering and technology, and wild about the thrill of competition, the four teams of 20 teens recently earned top honors at the MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) regional event. One team will advance to the international contest in Houston, Texas in mid-June.
There were 35 groups competing from around the region.
This year’s mission simulated the remote operated vehicle (ROV) activities performed to cap the blowout of the BP well off the Louisiana coast.
“Teams needed to capture and remove a collapsed pipe, insert a nozzle into a blowout preventer and close a valve on the well head,” said Lee McNeil, Sea-Tech Club leader. “Our more experienced Explorer Class team will have the added challenge of capping the well under pressure and flow at the international competition.”
Teams also took water samples, measured ambient pressure and collected specimens from the floor of the pool.