Emma Bartelt's detective dad provided her with the drug-sniffing dogs and the cocaine, which the school district says is an acceptable material in a district science fair.
It's not every day that elementary school students win science projects by using drug-sniffing dogs and cocaine. But Florida fourth-grader Emma did just that — with a little help from her dad, Douglas Bartelt, a detective with the Miami-Dade Police Narcotics Bureau.
Bartelt, along with two other Miami-Dade detectives, provided the dogs — Roger, a springer spaniel, Levi, a golden retriever, and Franky, a retired chocolate Labrador — for the science project entitled "Drug Sniffing Dogs." The detectives also provided the cocaine, which the Miami Herald reports is an acceptable material for district school fairs.
The project won Emma first place at her school's annual science fair, and subsequently allowed her to take part in the Miami-Dade Elementary Schools Science Fair on Jan. 26, where she earned an honorable mention.
Emma, 10, wrote in her abstract for her project that "the purpose for this scientific investigation was to find which dog would find the cocaine fastest using it's [sic] sense of smell."
"It was kinda my idea, because I wanted to do my dad's job," The Herald quoted Emma as saying.
Emma's mother, Michelle Bartelt, told the Herald that she had not been worried about the experiment, which she said was carried out at police facilities under constant supervision. She said Emma had never touched the cocaine, adding that her husband had handled the drugs the entire time.