NEVADA – In the quiet town of Reno, Nevada, students at Coral Academy of Science High School were in for an out-of-this-world experience as they embarked on a unique aerospace adventure. The school’s engineering club took on the challenge of designing and launching a weather balloon experiment, providing them with a hands-on lesson in the realms of aerospace and scientific exploration.
Led by 11 enthusiastic students and supported by two dedicated staff members, the engineering club dedicated four months to meticulously planning and constructing the weather balloon. The culmination of their efforts took place on April 29, as they gathered at Golden Eagle Regional Park in east Sparks to witness their creation take flight.
The weather balloon soared into the sky in the early hours of Saturday morning, defying gravity and captivating the minds of those involved. Equipped with various components, including a specially attached 360-degree camera, the balloon captured the breathtaking journey that lay ahead.
As the balloon climbed to an astonishing altitude of 116,434 feet, it surpassed the students’ predictions, reaching temperatures as low as -34 degrees Fahrenheit. The nerves were palpable among the team, knowing that months of hard work, financial investment, and meticulous planning hinged on the success of their ambitious project.
Against all odds, the weather balloon successfully landed east of Fernley, supported by a parachute. Having traveled an impressive 51 miles from its launch site, the students eagerly set out to recover their remarkable creation. Thanks to the GPS device onboard, they were able to track its location throughout the flight, leading them to the mountainous terrain east of Fernley where it came to rest.
Filled with excitement and relief, the students rejoiced at the sight of the weather balloon, intact and ready to share its remarkable journey with the world. The success of this endeavor marked a milestone for Coral Academy’s engineering club, inspiring them to plan future weather balloon launches and explore the boundless possibilities of scientific exploration.
Teacher Ismail Kullap expressed his pride in the students’ achievement, stating, “It was a lot higher than our predictions actually. Weather balloons can go to an altitude of around 100,000 feet. Ours went up to 116,000 feet.” The project’s success was a testament to the students’ dedication, teamwork, and passion for STEM education.
This memorable journey into the skies has sparked a newfound curiosity and passion among the students, igniting a desire to continue exploring the wonders of aerospace engineering. As the first year of Coral Academy’s weather balloon project concludes, the engineering club eagerly looks forward to future launches, knowing that the sky is no longer the limit for their scientific ambitions.
Credits: Fox Reno
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