MATE Texas Regional ROV Competition


Get ready for the coolest competition of the year:  area students from local teams flying hand-built, remote controlled robots through a challenging series of precision maneuvers - all in under 15 minutes - underwater.  This year, the competition is challenging students to tackle problems that impact the entire world. Plastics clogging our rivers, lakes, waterways, and ocean, from the surface to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Climate change raising ocean temperatures, affecting the health of coral reefs. Contaminants in our waterways. You can find these scenarios from Pennsylvania to Portugal, Florida to Australia, the Western Pacific to the Mid-Atlantic, and Indianapolis to Indonesia.

2022 MATE Texas Regional ROV Competition

The Aquabot Technicians RANGER Team from Foy H. Moody High School, Corpus Christi won and is headed to the MATE World Championship!


LIsa Spence

Lisa Spence has been co-coordinating the Texas Regional ROV competitions since 2003, when she was working at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab. She received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Arizona State University and worked in the nuclear and petrochemical industries before transitioning to NASA. Her 32-year career included assignments as a Space Shuttle instructor, training systems and curriculum development lead for the International Space Station, science program training coordinator for the Shuttle-Mir program in Star City, Russia, training liaison to international partner agencies, integration engineer for EVA training and development at the Neutral Buoyancy lab, and systems and operations integration engineer in the Constellation Program. Her most recent role was as the Deputy Element Manager for Flight Analogs with NASA’s Human Research Program, providing project leadership and management of multi-million dollar human research programs conducted in spaceflight analog facilities. This included overseeing the execution of simulated missions in the Human Exploration Research Analog at the Johnson Space Center, bed rest studies in Cologne, Germany, long duration isolation simulations in Moscow, Russia, and implementation of NASA human research in research stations in Antarctica.

Lisa retired from NASA in July 2019, and is currently teaching in the Master of Engineering Technical Management program for Texas A&M University. She holds Master’s degrees in Computer Systems Design, Public Administration, Biological Sciences (University of Houston – Clear Lake), and Communication & Leadership (Gonzaga University); she is a PhD Candidate in Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University.

In her spare time, Lisa is active in several ministries for her church; enjoys sewing; and is called “mom” by her rescued Great Dane. She has completed 100 full marathons, including one in every state in the US and all 7 continents.