Weather Balloon Project Ideas for High Schoolers

by | Aug 30, 2017 | High Altitude Science

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to soar to the edge of space? With a weather balloon project you can stop imagining and actually explore what the edge of space is like. Weather balloon projects are great for getting students up and exploring space.

When you work with the team at StratoStar, you can send an experiment you and your students design to the edge of space. Throughout the project, students will get hands on experiences designing the experiment, hypothesizing what will happen during the project, and analyze the results!

To help you get started, here are a few weather balloon project ideas designed for high schoolers:

Sending a can of soda to the edge of space.

What will happen when you send a can of soda to the edge of space? High school students can make predictions on what will happen to the can as the weather balloon rises. Will the cooler temperatures simply make the can cold? Will the can explode because of the changes in atmospheric pressure? This weather balloon project can be taken to another level by comparing different types of soda. If you’re sending more than one balloon up to the edge of space, break the students up into groups and have the groups choose different sodas to send up in the weather balloon. Each group can predict when their soda will explode (if it explodes) and they can have a competition on which soda will explode first.

The classic egg drop experiment taken to new heights.

The egg drop experiment is always a fun way for students to think about physics and engineering. But, when you add in the element of being 100,000 feet high, students face a new challenge. No longer does the egg need to survive a 20 or 30 foot drop. Instead it needs to survive the pressure of traveling to the edge of space and a 100,000 foot drop. Students can work in teams to build their egg protection. When the eggs and balloons come back down, students will have the opportunity to examine their eggs and determine why their experiment worked or didn’t work.

How water bears react to the edge of space.

Water bears, or Tardigrades, are eight-legged, segmented micro-animals. Often compared to cockroaches, water bears are known to live through all sorts of environments and scenarios. When it comes to weather balloon projects, sending these little creatures to the edge of space is a fairly common one. However, students will be amazed at what happens to the water bears as they soar to the edge of space and return back to the ground.

The best part about weather balloon projects is that they get students up out of their chairs and learning. While students get to design experiments to send to the edge of space, they’ll also be learning about the scientific method, and, depending on the project, subjects like math, engineering, and even art!

Are you ready to get started with your own weather balloon project? Have an experiment in mind already? The team at StratoStar would love to hear from you! Contact us to take the first step!