22 June 2023
“Adopt a float” event
"Adopt a Float" day at the Institut de la mer in Villefranche-sur-Mer (Sorbonne University/CNRS)
The “Adopt a Float” day on 22 June 2023 at the Institut de la mer in Villefranche-sur-Mer (Sorbonne University/CNRS) was attended by the French Minister for Higher Education and Research, Sylvie Retailleau, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and Antoine Petit, Chairman and CEO of the CNRS. A large number of VIPs were on hand to witness the day’s work by six classes from Joseph Calderoni primary school in Villefranche-sur-Mer. Over the course of the school year, these six classes – around 150 pupils – adopted “Bob-the-float”, a BGC Argo profiling float, whose journey they followed as part of the “Adopt a float” educational programme run by Carolyn Scheurle, head of the programme, and her team. Bob the float was dropped into the Indian Ocean on 16 October 2022, during the expedition led by Explorations de Monaco, by the scientific teams of Hervé Claustre, co-leader of the BGC-Argo international ocean monitoring programme.
The pupils were able to present their work over the course of the school year, make new discoveries and exchange views with researchers, scientific mediators and invited guests. They also visited the “Indian Ocean Expedition” exhibition by the artist Rémi Leroy, who was on board during the expedition.
Bob-the-float ” works for science, ocean education and sustainable development
A float for scientific purposes
The “Bob-the-float” profiling float underwater robot, which has been sailing in the Indian Ocean since 16 October 2022, is part of a flotilla of ultra-modern robots that are helping to observe the ocean by measuring essential ocean parameters. It is part of the international ‘One Argo’ programme, which aims to observe changes in the health of the world’s oceans in the context of climate change using a flotilla of these robots. The Institut de la mer de Villefranche (IMEV) is one of the pioneers of this programme.
A float for educational purposes
In addition to its scientific application, the “Bob-the-float” robot is being used by IMEV’s scientific mediators in the “Adopt a float” educational programme. Like the Joseph Caldéroni primary school in Villefranche-sur-Mer, young pupils in Seychelles and Mauritius have adopted other floats deployed during the Monaco Explorations Indian Ocean Expedition. Profiling floats are excellent tools for bringing ocean sciences into the classroom. 1900 students in France and abroad benefited from this programme in 2022-2023.
From the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean
Initially deployed in the Mediterranean before being put back in the water during the expedition organised in the Indian Ocean at the end of 2022 by Explorations de Monaco, the “Bob the Float” robot illustrates a desire to make observations that are as eco-responsible as possible. Reusing these highly sophisticated and expensive devices is currently one of the programme’s priorities. Like 4,000 other profiling floats, it collects and transmits biogeochemical data, which is then made freely accessible in real time to scientists around the world.