Elementary school science fairs are often fun ways of having children learn about complex scientific principles through simple projects. You usually expect to see projects such as volcanoes, light bulbs being powered by pickles and comparisons of household cleaning products.
One ambitious student in Miami, FL, took the science fair to a level that has rarely (if ever) been seen before. Emma Bartelt conducted an experiment in which she used three drug sniffing dogs and 28 grams of real cocaine. “The purpose for this scientific investigation was to find which dog would find the cocaine fastest using it’s [sic] sense of smell,” stated young Emma. Her father, Douglas Bartelt, who is a detective with the Miami-Dade Police Narcotics Bureau, provided the drugs and the dogs to her.
According to Emma’s mother, Michelle Bartelt, Emma “did not touch the cocaine.” She further added, “[Doug] handled the drugs. “He’s always very meticulous about how he handles drugs.” John Schuster, a spokesman for the school district, released a statement to answer any concerns that might have been raised by such an unusual choice of experiment, “The student’s science project involved a very unusual set of circumstances, including having a parent who is a well-respected police detective with experience in training dogs that sniff for illegal substances. From our understanding, the parent was the only person involved in working directly with the dogs and the hidden substances, which took place at a police training facility.”
It comes as no surprise that Emma won first place in the school’s science fair.