Good news for Mrs. St. Pierre’s science class at Bellbrook Middle School – your cups have made the 4,000 meter, 2.5 mile journey down to the depths of the Pacific Ocean and are successfully miniaturized! (Good news for me as well, they’ll take up a lot less room in my suitcase on the return trip). The pressure at this depth is 400 times greater than at the surface which does quite a number on stryofoam cups. The cups were decorated by students back in Ohio, and I carefully packaged them into mesh laundry bags for their journey; stuffing a paper towel into the top of each cup helps hold the shape during shrinking. The mesh bags were attached to the bottom of the Niskin rosette (pictured a few posts below) to catch a ride to the bottom of the ocean. Increasing pressure on the way down squeezes all the air out of the styrofoam, shrinking the cups and preserving the original design.
Before (left) and after (right).