Communities in Schools Space Club students from our four Harlandale ISD middle schools conducted a science experiment by launching two high altitude balloons into the stratosphere on Dec. 15. The students built two payloads that included two GoPro cameras, a SPOT GPS, a flight computer and sensors. Each payload was attached to a parachute and latex balloon filled with helium. Students and teachers, along with a surprise appearance from KENS 5 meteorologist Paul Mireles, counted down from 10 before letting the latex balloons filled with helium go.
“This is a world-class experiment,” CIS STEM Project Director Natasha Wilkerson said. “The students not only learned how to work together, but also how important math is in everyday life.” Once the balloons were released, they rose about 100,000 feet. After a couple of hours, the balloons popped and slowly descended back to Earth.
“The GoPro cameras captured all the footage, the GPS tracker helped us get our balloons back, and our flight computer will give us temperature and pressure data,” Wilkerson added. Students were able to track the balloons in real time via GPS and are excited to analyze all the retrieved data in the classroom.
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