By Laurie Stevens, 5th grade teacher
That’s right, 5th grade students living in the arctic Village of Utqiagvik (oot-kay-ahg-vik; formally known as Barrow) took part in the international Float Your Boat buoy deployment research project. What is special about these students’ participation in the educational project is the fact that many of the buoys placed in the Arctic Ocean launch from the very area where these students live! In fact, some students have been out on the ice hunting or whaling in the Beaufort Sea and have actually come across these buoys; talk about a research project that hits home!
The students of Mr. and Mrs. Stevens’ classrooms at Fred Ipalook Elementary so enjoyed learning about how all sorts of data is collected by the deployment of buoys by the many scientists and people who conduct the research every year. Students were given the opportunity to analyze data presented to them, and many were able to accurately mark on their 2D maps the best place to launch their own research buoy that would have the best chance to stay in the Beaufort Sea the longest!
Of course, the chance to “launch” their own custom painted research boat with the deployment of a research buoy being set in the coming days from right here in Utqiagvik was especially exciting! 26 uniquely painted boats are headed to the ice field; where exactly they will end up is the mystery that someday just might be discovered.
All of the students learned something new and relevant to their lives here and send out a big thank you to Ms. Sarah Johnson, of Wild Rose Education for coming to their classroom and sharing all of her knowledge about the different methods and kinds of research that is being done right here in the arctic to help everyone, everywhere, better understand our changing world. As she said, “what happens in the arctic, doesn’t stay in the arctic”!
Many thanks from 5th Grade, Ipalook Elementary School.