When a Saildrone uncrewed surface vehicle (USV) circumnavigated Antarctica in 2019, it marked a technological triumph over some of the most extreme marine conditions on Earth. The Southern Ocean has long been thought to play a significant role in the uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere, however previous assumptions were made based on ship-based data, which are scarce in time and space given the harsh ocean conditions. The 196-day mission was launched from Bluff, New Zealand, on January 19, 2019, returning to the same port on August 3 after sailing over 11,879 nautical miles (13,670 miles or 22,000 km) around Antarctica.
Saildrone and the 1851 Trust partnered to develop a series of STEM lesson plans rooted in science, technology, engineering, and math, available to teachers free of charge. Click to access the lesson plans.