North Shore Middle School Viking Explorers

Viking Explorers at Tappen Beach!

The Viking Explorers are a class of eighth grade students from North Shore Middle School under the supervision of Mr. Brian Lang and Mr. Keith Slack The class is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) course that allows students to learn about Long Island’s waterways. Aquatic remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are utilized to explore environmental issues affecting local bodies of water. Technology and different forms of engineering are used by students to try and make a positive influence on our local waterways.

In September 2017, the Viking Explorers went to Tappen Beach in Sea Cliff, NY, where they observed different specimens, tested the local swimming water, and viewed beneath the water using ROVs. Many different specimens were found using specific tools including waders to go into the water. Helpful tools called seins and nets were useful in finding Shiners, Killifish, and shrimp. Additionally, shells of various Horseshoe crabs, rock snails, and Asian Shore Crabs (which are invasive to Long Island) were found on the beach by the explorers when the tide came in and out.

Emma Nelson, a Viking Explorer said, “We also had a chance to test the water for pH, Copper, and Ammonia Nitrogen using our water testing kit. We found that the water off of Tappen Beach, part of the Long Island Sound, has a pH level of 9, and no copper, but a presence of ammonia nitrogen.” She continued, “On the trip to Tappen, we all got to use ROVs built by the 2016-2017 class. The robots were controlled by remote control and attached to a tether. We got to put GoPro’s onto the robots and send them out to get underwater footage of the Long Island Sound.”

In the upcoming weeks, the North Shore Middle School Viking Explorers will be working in small groups to construct their own robots. In October 2017, they will then head to Eisenhower Park Pool to test them. These new robots will ultimately go through different obstacles. Emma concluded by saying, “We will continue to explore our local waterways and gain more and more knowledge of them throughout this entire school year.”

Article written by NS MS student Emma Nelson
Photos provided by Viking Explorers Advisors Brian Lang and Keith Slack

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