Tackle the ultimate STEM project with this all-inclusive classroom guide to launching a weather balloon PLUS links to a shared Google Drive folder with of extra resources!
Take your students on an unforgettable journey to the stratosphere! What can be more exciting than launching a balloon to the edge of space and seeing footage of the Earth from above? A weather balloon project (also known as High Altitude Balloon or HAB) involves designing a payload and using a helium balloon to send an experiment up to 100,000 feet into the stratosphere!
Based on three years of successful weather balloon experience with over 300 middle school students, this product is everything you need to design a payload, select an experiment, launch, and recover the balloon from a 100,000-foot journey to the edge of space!
Read more about my experience with the weather balloon project with middle school students here.
For this project, students work in teams to understand the science behind the balloon launch, design and build a scientific payload, select the launch site using predictive modeling and weather conditions, launch the balloon, and analyze the collected data. This is the ultimate real-world project. Just substitute “student” for “scientist”, and this is exactly how scientists in industry and government labs send experiments into the atmosphere!
Budget: This project requires a minimum of $1400 in materials including this weather balloon kit. A complete material list is provided in the product.
This packet includes:
- Detailed teachers guide with links to resources
- Full guide on the basics of a weather balloon
- Explanation of scientific principals of a balloon launch
- Team assignments to simplify classroom management
- Student challenge handouts covering balloon launch and design project basics
- Budget and materials list
- Shared Google Drive with launch logistics, PPT classroom presentations, balloon launch tutorials, checklists, and more!
Looking for more STEM lessons? Find the Vivify resource guide here: bit.ly/VivifyResourceGuide
About STEM Challenges: Click here to learn more about the 3 Stages of STEM. STEM challenges are an engaging way to incorporate the engineering design process into your classroom or after school program! These hands-on activities allow students to work in teams, apply the engineering design process, and connect science topics to real-world applications. The teacher will provide the structure to the project, but students will take an active role in designing and building their own device.
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