Educational Passages’ Board member/ NOAA representative JiM Manning, with his lab members, have been working on developing low cost sensors that can outfit miniboats and other drifter science projects. The first type of sensor being tested is a temperature sensor (see above photo). This is a first step towards having choices of sensors for drifter science projects. We hope someday that this program will including sensors that can monitor salinity, depth, acidity, even sensors that can detect and record whale sounds! Not only is Educational Passages looking at developing sensors, we also are looking into new GPS possibilities. The new GPS units have better global coverage as well as input capabilities, which would make recording external sensor information possible.
The above pictures are displaying prototypes of sensors and GPS units, as well as participants at “building your oceanographic tracking device” workshops in Massachusetts. Participants at the workshops learned about engineering design and how to bring these hands-on oceanographic projects to their schools. March 2016, Jim and his lab members are traveling to the Maine Fisherman Forum hosted in Rockport. They are hosting another workshop this time inviting fisherman, as well as more students and teachers, interested in engaging their communities and classrooms in relevant oceanographic research.
Plans are underway to implement a temperature sensor into the keel of a few miniboats participating during the upcoming 2016 International Miniboat Rally. If students or teachers at your school would be interested in helping design and test these new oceanographic tools let us at Educational Passages know.