This sixth-grade inventor built a robot to hunt ocean plastic #MakerEducation
Inspiring story on young engineer Anna Du, from Fast Company.
Of the millions of metric tons of plastic that enter the ocean each year, researchers don’t yet know exactly where it all ends up. Some of the trash makes it to swirling gyres like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is now thought to be roughly three times the size of France. Some of it is eaten by baby seabirds or whales (when a whale recently died on a beach in Thailand, the autopsy found around 17 pounds of plastic inside the animal). Some of it sinks down to rest on the ocean floor. But one researcher studying ocean plastic says that scientists don’t know the location of around 99% of the waste.
As scientists begin to track ocean plastic from airplanes and even from space, a 12-year-old inventor hopes to help the effort with a device of her own: a robot that can move through the ocean identifying plastic, and that could eventually collect it as well.
Each Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.