Posted: Feb. 18, 2014


On Monday, February 17, two members of the Science Center education department tried their hand at something new – building ocean drifters. Yup, needs explanation.

Let’s start with a problem. A lobster releases its eggs and they float to the surface of the ocean. Where do they end up? We need to know general trends in currents, tides, etc., to get the answer. So what do we do? We build drifters, contraptions of canvas, wood – really any combination as long as it floats – and a satellite transmitter, and set them afloat. We then track where it goes and when. And if we do this hundreds of times over, capturing data from around the Gulf of Maine, we start to get answers to questions like the one about the lobster eggs.

This spring the Science Center will be building its first drifter with students at Hull High School. We can’t wait to see what we find out about our oceans!