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Spare Parts (First Year Read, 2018)

The First Year Reading Program selection for 2018.

Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) and the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Competition

"MATE’s mission is to use marine technology to inspire and challenge students to learn and creatively apply science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to solving real-world problems in a way that strengthens critical thinking, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and innovation."

Headquartered at Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, CA, and operated by a partnership of organizations. Funded by the National Science Foundation, industry sponsorships, and sales.


Spare Parts connection: The main competition of the whole book! (Part 2, starting on p. 89).

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)

FIRST was founded by Dean Kamen in 1989. Its mission is "to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership."

FIRST is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity based in NH.


Spare Parts connection: While Oscar, Cristian, Lorenzo and Luis worked on the MATE ROV competition, the larger Carl Hayden robotics team competed in the FIRST Robotics Competition, and they all traveled to Atlanta to put their robot up against the others (pp. 126-131).

NASA Robotics Alliance Project

NASA's Robotics Alliance Project is one of the organizations involved in the MATE ROV competition. Their mission is "[t]o create a human, technical, and programmatic resource of robotics capabilities to enable the implementation of future robotic space exploration missions." The RAI hopes to inspire and encourage students to study robotics at the bachelor's and master's/doctoral level for this purpose.


Spare Parts connection: not explicitly mentioned in the book but it is the main department within NASA for robotics education support.