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September 24, 2018

Central Square Students Launch Weather Balloon Near Space


Fifth grade A.A. Cole Elementary students launched a weather balloon near space to an altitude of more than 50,000 feet, nearly ten miles.

Cole Elementary School students prepare to launch a weather balloon to near space, an altitude of more than 50,000 feet.

Cole Elementary School students prepare to launch a weather balloon to near space, an altitude of more than 50,000 feet.

The weather was bright and sunny, a perfect day for liftoff.

Students of Rick Jacobs’ fifth grade class educated the rest of the school on the layers of the earth’s atmosphere, such as the ozone layer, the exosphere, the thermosphere, and stratosphere, while Jacobs and Jacques Monica (Central Square Director of Instructional Technology and Information Systems) prepared the balloon for launch.

This was A.A. Cole Elementary School’s third year launching a weather balloon.

The science project reinforces concepts of clouds, weather, atmosphere, gravity and more in a real, tangible way.

Students in the class were able to study the altitude, temperature and humidity all the way to near space and back. The balloon’s trip typically lasts about an hour before returning to earth.

There were three payloads: one, a GPS tracker in a plastic sphere with a gimbal that keeps the GPS upright at all times; two, a clear plastic strobe, noise device and notes from students; three, a Darth Vader pinata with a GoPro Camera and an altitude data logging device inside.

Pictures and video from the event can be phone on the Central Square School District website at http://www.cssd.org/instruction.cfm?subpage=61338 and on the District’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CentralSquareCSD.

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