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Student Drifter Competition for Coastal Oil Experiment has Cascading Wins

It was a tall order, but high school students rose to the challenge: they integrated physics, engineering, and scientific curiosity and created functional data-gathering drifters. They also became part of a scientific effort to improve predictions of how oil moves through coastal waters and onto shores.

In December at Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, scientists deployed the winning student designs along with 200+ specialized drifters during a three-week long Surfzone Coastal Oil Pathways Experiment (SCOPE), a first-of-its-kind effort for Gulf of Mexico modeling studies.

SCOPE is a project of the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment, or CARTHE. Scientists and education specialists with CARTHE collaborated with colleagues from the Deep Sea to Coast Connectivity (Deep-C) research consortium and incorporated local schools as part of the project to extend the wins of this successful experiment beyond the scientific community.

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