110 Modeling Erosional Processes of the New Jersey Shore: Doing Real Scientific Research in a High School Environment

Monday, 7 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Genevieve Pike, Morristown-Beard School, Morristown, NJ; and J. A. Yuhas

During the 2018-2019 school year Genevieve Pike of Morristown-Beard Weather Services (MBWS) worked with an Emriver stream table with the ultimate goal of modeling coastal erosional processes on the New Jersey Shore.

This turned out to be a more daunting enterprise than originally thought.

As with all scientific research, Ms. Pike went on a journey that lead her down several paths and ultimately shaped a project that defined different objectives than what she started with. This was the true benefit of this project: doing real scientific research in a high school setting.

Challenges in high school include access to resources and, primarily, time. Most science classes are restricted to 60-90 minute lab periods, where an experiment must be set up, performed, and analyzed. This project provided Ms. Pike with long-term, exclusive access to a lab environment that allowed her to do this work.

The original attempt to model processes typical of the coastline and barrier islands of New Jersey ran into scale issues. To begin to understand this issue, the project focussed on determining the minimum water speed necessary to make the sand move. This data can then be used to help frame future projects.

This project primarily relied on the EM3 River Table, a Go Pro camera, and the Vernier Video Physics software. Various channels were tested. The Go Pro was used to video the sand moving along the river bed. This was then analyzed with the Video Physics software to determine sand and water velocities.

Ms. Pike looks forward to extending this work during the fall, between this submittal and the conference, and hopes to have even more exciting results to share. The MBWS team plans to this share work, and issues faced, with attendees at the AMS Annual Meeting in the hope of generating ideas and invite input into future experiments for the group.

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