High school students from across South Florida were challenged by CARTHE to design, build, and test their own surface current drifters. Three programs took on this challenge and the results are impressive!
Students from South Broward High School, iTech Magnet High School, and the Frost Science Museum’s IMPACT Program sketched their initial ideas with paper and pencil, reviewed the plans with our team and/or their classmates, collected the necessary materials, and constructed their drifters from scratch. Once the drifters were built, most were tested in pools (Video of Drifter Test) but the IMPACT program had the opportunity to test their drifters in Biscayne Bay thanks to Seakeepers and Fleet Miami.
Some floated and some sank. Most needed a few extra adjustments, which taught a very valuable lesson: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. The CARTHE drifters designed for LASER went through 20+ prototypes before we felt confident that we had the perfect shape.
The best drifters were selected by the teachers and the CARTHE team and will be fitted for GPS units and deployed right alongside the LASER drifters in the Gulf of Mexico between January 15-February 15, 2016. Visit our website for the resulting drifter tracks once they are available.
South Broward High School
iTech Magnet High School
If you/your students wish to build your own drifters, please check out our lesson plan “Go With the Flow: Designing Ocean Drifters with CARTHE” (Pages 104-109 of the Gulf of Mexico Curriculum – developed by the Deep-C Consortium)