On May 7, 2015 students from the Mary Institute and Saint Louis County Day School launched their weather balloon in Raymond Illinois after preparing for months through a project based learning program with Stratostar. The crew launched the balloon from Orchard Farms High School at around 9:15 am. From there it traveled over 101,000 ft and 70 miles west from the launch site.
The students also added a sample of alfalfa seeds to see how being exposed to different altitudes and wavelengths of electromagnetic energy could affect the seeds after they were germinated. The weather balloon project was the joint effort of 5 teachers and 60 students and was an extension of the school’s coding/programming unit. The circuits that were constructed in the unit was integrated into the project and were added on board the balloon. The students will also collect data from the cameras and other data collecting equipment on the balloon as well as complie a documentary from their experience.
Using Stratostar’s weather balloon program is a great way to use project based learning to enhance STEM education. If you want to learn more about project based learning and STEM education you can download a free e-book at Stratostar.net.