Sea Scouts rewarded for STEM research, with more than just a payday

Members of Ship 41 show off O’Tumbler.

Today’s Scouts will go on to careers where they solve some of the world’s biggest problems.

But apparently the boys and girls in Sea Scout Ship 41 aren’t waiting till they’re grownups to make a difference.

The Scouts of the ship Intrepid out of Bay Village, Ohio, researched harmful algae blooms in nearby Lake Erie. With no easy solution available, they invented their own, developing O’Tumbler, “a vertical wind turbine that circulates oxygen-rich water to help stimulate the growth of plankton and provide a food-rich habitat for fish.”

For their efforts, the Sea Scouts were named the national winners of Interlux’s 2012 Waterfront Challenge, a title that comes with a $20,000 prize. Skipper Richard Gash says the ship will use the money to educate the Lake Erie community and demonstrate ways to help protect the world’s 10th-largest lake.

“This has been a super opportunity for our Sea Scouts to study, brainstorm and develop practical solutions to real-life environmental problems,” Skipper Richard Gash said in a statement. “We look forward to using the Interlux award to further educate our community to help protect our great natural resource, Lake Erie.” 

Watch O’Tumbler in action

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