May 10, 2011
Student Experiments Will Fly Sky High In NASA Weather Balloon
Four high school experiments will launch Thursday, May 19, aboard a NASA helium weather balloon that will travel to the stratosphere, a near-space environment 19 to 20 miles above sea level. The high-flying event is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. EDT at Wyandot County Airport in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.
The high school student teams that designed the experiments will attend the launch. They are the finalists in NASA's second Balloonsat High-Altitude Flight competition. NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland hosts the national competition, which offers high school students an opportunity to experience an authentic flight mission from start to finish.
To attend the balloon launch, news media representatives should contact Sandra Nagy no later than 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, at 216-433-9079 or [email protected]. Journalists should confirm the actual launch date, time and location with Glenn's Media Relations Office or by checking the Balloonsat website at: http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/balloonsat/Index.html
The selected teams and experiments are:
-- Charlottesville High School, Charlottesville, Va. "The Effect of Near-Space on Solar Powered Climate Control"
-- Harding University High School, Searcy, Ark. "Measuring Gases in the Atmosphere as a Function of Altitude"
-- Neighborhood After-School Science Association, Ava, N.Y. "Viability of Hydroponic Gardens in Near Space Conditions"
-- North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Durham, N.C. "Variations in Energy Output of Solar Cells at Varying Altitudes Compared to Weight and Cost"
Glenn scientists and engineers will evaluate each of the four teams on active participation during the launch, research presentations and written reports about the final results of their experiments. The winning team will be announced on July 1 on the Balloonsat website. In the fall, Glenn representatives will present an award to the winners at their school.
Balloonsat and similar educational programs help NASA attract and retain students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. These disciplines are critical to the agency's future programs and missions.
The Balloonsat High-Altitude Flight competition is sponsored by Glenn's Educational Programs Office and is funded by the Teaching From Space Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
For more information about NASA's education programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/education