Last May, a Los Alamos elementary school sixth-grade class experienced Earth from a different perspective.
They did so thanks to a program called the Global Space Balloon Challenge, which was founded a few years ago by a group of students from Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other institutions.
The group’s goal is to “inspire as many students as possible” to learn the preparation, the science and the engineering behind flying high altitude balloons, which are used every day by various organizations and government agencies for topography, space exploration, geology, weather tracking and other fields where high-altitude imagery and data is needed.
Every year, GSBC coordinates with its partners in research and the corporate world to enable hundreds of schools, groups and organizations to build and fly their own balloons and post results online.
Last year, students in Piñon Elementary’s Gifted and Talented Education students partnered with the “Museum of the Coastal Bend” in Victoria, Texas, to launch a balloon on May 1.
The museum documented the project and entered the student’s findings into GSBC’s contest on the event, where they won first place for “Most Educational Initiative.”