A group of nine students from Landmark School in Beverly is among 13 teams nationwide awarded this year’s prestigious Lemelson—MIT InvenTeams grant to invent solutions to solve real-world problems. This is the third time that Landmark’s team has received this grant.
The Landmark initiative is a near-shore marine data survey collector in the form of a fixed buoy placed off the coast adjacent to the Landmark High School campus in Prides Crossing. The device will collect air temperature, barometric pressure, water salinity, wind speed, water temperature and acidity, and turbidity at the water surface, ten feet down, and on the ocean floor.
What is particularly noteworthy about this initiative is that Landmark’s InvenTeam is collaborating with other local organizations and their students and teachers, researchers, and scientist by sharing the data to help establish baselines and observe trends of the waters of the Atlantic Ocean along the coast of the North Shore. These organizations include: Beverly Public Schools, Division of Marine Fisheries of Massachusetts, Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center in Nahant, and the Salem Sound Coastwatch.
The problem that the Landmark team is aiming to solve is to provide an alternative to other data collection buoys that are typically free-floating, often get lost and damaged at sea, and have hefty uplink costs. Landmark’s buoy will be anchored to the ocean floor within two miles from the coast. The device will collect data several times each day and thanks to the programming of the Landmark team, will be loaded automatically to a spreadsheet that will be shared with the partner organizations.
“It’s been exciting to see our students dive headfirst into researching projects that we could propose to the Lemelson-MIT committee and to see so many be recognized with a grant to help us execute our vision,” said Landmark teacher Doug Walker. Co-teacher Dan Crossman said, “This project is particularly rewarding since we are able to share our data with other local organizations allowing them to learn from what we collect, develop solutions to a range of environmental challenges, and to continually innovate.”
Since 2006, the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam initiative has been changing the way educators teach and providing young people with creative problem-solving skills to flourish in college and their chosen careers,” said Stephanie Couch, Executive Director of Lemelson-MIT.