Stockton University, LBI School Students to Work on NOAA Ocean Drifter Study

By Gina G. Scala | Jan 08, 2020

Ship Bottom, NJ — Sixth-grade students from the Long Beach Island Consolidated School District have been invited to work with Stockton University scientists on a two-year Ocean Drifter Study to measure the ocean currents off the coast of LBI. The work is made possible through a grant proposal from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

“Our students will be involved in building and monitoring several ocean drifters over two years to engage in a scientific investigation using real-time data,” Peter J. Kopack, district superintendent and principal of the LBI Grade School, said recently.

Cathy McBride will work in conjunction with Anna Pfeifer-Herbers, a scientist from Stockton University, to facilitate the initiative, he said. Students will set up and deploy drifter kits four times a year during the study timeframe.

“Through this extended study, our students will be able to develop strong science practices and data science skills by analyzing data and extracting useful information to answer their questions,” Kopack said. “We are looking forward to this opportunity as it will be highly beneficial to integrate a real-world oceanographic study into our science curriculum.”

Later this month, Kopack and McBride will present “It’s Elementary – Ocean Drifters Exploration” to school administrators at the annual New Jersey Association of School Administrators’ TECHSPO conference, the 25th annual statement technology exhibition and training conference for school officials.

“The presentation will provide an overview of our Ocean Drifters Project, which is led by NOAA, along with resources and meaningful methods for integrating other oceanographic tools and real-time data in the classroom,” Kopack said, noting school administrators will garner valuable insight into ways they can engage elementary students “in exciting, authentic science content that is both consequential and compelling to them.” G.G.S.

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