A couple of months ago I was reminded of the importance of social networking in the "21st Century Classroom." Out of the blue, I received an email from Jason Krueger of Stratostar Systems in Indiana. It turns out that we were each trying to do the same thing- get kids excited about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. You can imagine my reaction when he mentioned that he would like to help my students send experiments into space. This Friday, my students are doing just that......
Being that there are many educators from the Midwest on MSP2, I thought I would blog about my project in the hopes that other schools could possibly share in this wonderful experience first hand. I am also planning on uploading pictures and many of the details of our project so even if you don't live near Indiana, perhaps your class can create a similar ballooning project much like the two high school students from Canada. I've invited Jason to post and answer questions. Please feel free to ask away as Jason is a good guy that is looking to make a difference.
Below is a copy of our press release:
Students from Indian Valley Middle School will be conducting a High-Altitude Weather Balloon launch on Friday March 2nd 2012 , with Project Based Learning company StratoStar. Indian Valley students are designing and building experiments to be flown on the flight platform just like real-world Scientist and Engineers. The balloon and experiments will ascend to an altitude of 100,000 ft above the Earth (three times higher than commercial jets fly). This region is known as the Edge of Space and is above 99% of the atmosphere. The balloon will burst and a parachute will bring the experiments gently back to Earth. The students will be running Mission Control just like NASA in order to collect the real-time data from their experiments and help guide the recovery team to the final landing location. Typically this type of activity is only conducted by large government agencies such as NASA and NOAA.
The student experiments are focused around such topics as:
Indiana Valley teachers Tom Jenkins and Tonda North will be using this exciting hands-on project to engage the students in real World Science, Engineering and Mathematics. Tom and Tonda’s goal for the students is one day they will choose a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
StratoStar will be helping with this launch and is a hands-on Education company dedicated to “Creating the next generation of Scientist and Engineers.” StratoStar is based out of Indianapolis and has worked with Universities, High schools and Jr. Highs across the country to “Unlock student curiosity,” through the use of high-altitude weather balloon missions. http://www.stratostar.net/ .