Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Feedback Interviews

A month after the field study, Deep-C educators went back to Pensacola accompanied by a cameraman from FSU’s Learning Systems Institute. They conducted student interviews for an upcoming video series on Project GOO sponsored by the Florida CPALMS Initiative ( They also went to get feedback from the students and their teacher on the lessons and field study that were part of the pilot Project GOO program.

The first student class of Project GOO. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Field Study Expedition At the Gulf: Students Put Their Training To Use

It’s Go Time at Perdido Key State Park in Florida!

The West Florida High School students teamed up with scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and began their search for oil patties along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. On their first day, they were able to collect about 80 oil patties in an hour and a half. That would have taken two scientists an entire day. The team inspected the samples closely, took photographs, and recorded observations in their journals. The samples collected by this team of well-trained "GOO-ies" were shipped to WHOI for analysis. WHOI scientists will be able to identify the source of the oil (for instance, does it contain oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill?) and use the students' samples in ongoing oil spill research. Students will then be able to track the results of their samples, through an online database. Check out the video above to see what happened during our field day.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Oil Patty Collection Techniques: Figuring Out What To Look For

The fourth lesson focused on teaching students about the proper step-by-step techniques for collecting oil samples on the beach. For a practice run, students participated in an oil patty collection simulation where they found and collected oil patty samples that had been hidden around the classroom. They learned how to distinguish characteristics of an oil sand patty and how to tell the difference between a discrete and composite sample. To wrap up, the class discussed what scientists will do with the oil patties once they have been collected and what parameters are used during analysis. Check out the video above to see what happened during our fourth GOO lesson.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Oil Signals From the Deep: Analyzing CTD Data

The third lesson was designed to help students expand their understanding of ocean science and oil spill research. Students received hands-on experience working with CTD data from a NOAA research cruise. CTD refers to a package of electronic instruments that measure conductivity, temperature, and depth. Water samples can be collected at various depths using this equipment, and then it can be analyzed in a variety of ways. Students plotted the data in Excel and analyzed the plots to explain how levels of dissolved oxygen in the Gulf were affected by the oil spill. They discussed questions such as “how did dissolved oxygen vary with depth according to your graphs?” and “how were the graphs similar or different?”.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Think Like a Scientist Lesson Video

The second GOO lesson was all about how to think like a scientist. Students discussed some common misconceptions about what scientists look like, their habits and personalities, etc. Special guest speaker, Dr. Chris Reddy from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), gave students inside information about what being a scientist is all about. To wrap it up, students set up an experiment on the investigation of oil degradation over a 30 day time period. Different jars contained various combinations of oil, water, soil and fertilizers. Check out the video above to see what happened during our second GOO lesson.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thinking Like A Scientist

Our second trip to Pensacola was filled with exciting and hands-on activities!  On Friday, we presented and discussed with students at West Florida High School of Advanced Technology (WFHS) how to think like a scientists and were fortunate enough to be able to bring in a "real" scientist to speak with the students, Dr. Chris Reddy, senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  We also set up an oil degradation experiment and will be excited to see the results of on our next visit.   

The next morning we hit the beaches with Dr. Reddy (and members of his scientific team), and Shawn Walker (our partner teacher at WFHS) to learn the finer points of oil patty collection!

From L to R: The GOO team at Fort Pickens searching for oil paddies; a student at WFHS explains her team's depiction of a scientist; setting up a oil eating microbes experiment; WHOI's Dr. Chris Reddy gives students inside information on what it takes to be a scientist.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Welcome to Project GOO!

The Deep-C Consortium is excited to announce the launch of a new citizen science project connecting high school students and leading scientists in oil spill research. The goal is to train students and others how to be citizen scientists, and then put their new found knowledge into use when they visit the Gulf Beaches and search for oil patties. Collected oil patty samples will be sent  off to the scientific team at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) for analysis. These scientists will be able to identify the source of the oil and use the samples for their ongoing research. In the near future, we will launch an online database with detailed information about all samples  collected by our GOO participants.

The PROJECT GOO Team is working with a pilot group of students at the West Florida High School of Advanced Technology in Pensacola and plan to expand the program statewide. We will be hosting a teacher workshop in June 2014 for educators with an interest in oil spill research and to engage more schools in PROJECT GOO.  Stay tuned for more details... and in the meantime check out this PROJECT GOO Blog.