by Andrea Bossi
Since last school year, you have been at school with several spies mostly posing as students. After school, this group of Lindblom spies, which includes a biology teacher, colludes in order to design a camera system that will be used by researchers to record the first-ever footage of icefish in Antarctica. These spies coined their name: Fish Spies. No, they are not spying on you.
The camera system must be shipped by Friday, January 20th. So, the Fish Spies are currently pressed for time. Although the system design is almost complete, refinements keep being made before assembly occurs. The refinements, however, may become an issue.
“Perfect is the enemy of good,” Ms. Dell said, the biology teacher overseeing this operation. As this group approaches the last day to ship, refinements are very costly time-wise because each refinement requires feedback. With the spies’ current design, there are vulnerabilities. But with a mission like this, vulnerabilities cannot be avoided.
The camera system must function in the depths of the Antarctic Ocean, which is easier said than done. Since last year, the spies have worked with what this extreme environment imposes, hence the extremely waterproof and pressure-resistant design.
So far, the system parts have been a slight issue for the team’s progress. A surplus of massive polycarbonate sheets, weighing 100 pounds each, was the first issue. The design only uses a medium sized square of polycarbonate, and cutting these massive sheets is hard. Besides the polycarbonate issue, other little issues have arose.
For example, the waterproof camera housing the team ordered for the GoPro being used was not as pictured. “They only sent us half of the housing,” Danica said, who is a student member of the team. Little mishaps like this are not a major issue to the design’s progress, though, because of help from Lindblom teachers who are engineers and electricians, Mr. Anaya and Mr. Duran.
Once the team assembles the design, which includes polycarbonate, mineral oil, a 50 pound battery, marine lights, and more, there will be a few months to wait before the design is put to the real test. In the meantime, all members are working to hard to make sure this camera will successfully capture the first-ever footage of icefish, which are white blooded fish because of their lack for red blood cells.
The team is composed of seniors Gustavo Tovar, Danica Jayco, Denise Hernandez, Faith Jones, Abisola Olawale, Christopher Hernandez, Malina Vest, and Andrea Bossi along with the sole junior, Alyssa Barker. And this project was made possible by a grant, which two professors from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Ohio University helped receive. For the senior spies, this is a great way to end a career at Lindblom.
“If we get three pictures, great. If we get a bunch, we’ll make a movie,” Ms. Dell said laughing.
Until the spring, these Fish Spies will be waiting to know if they succeeded or failed at the mission which they chose to accept.