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Scientists and students take education to stratosphere
Published Wednesday, April 27, 2016 5:16PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 27, 2016 7:49PM MDT
A team of university researchers were in the village of Linden on Wednesday morning to launch a high-altitude balloon into space as part of a Canada-wide experiment.
The group, made up of members from Science Rendezvous, the University of Calgary’s Cybermentor and SOAR team, and students from Dr. Elliott Community School let the balloon go from the sports field.
The first attempt didn’t quite make it to the stratosphere so the team tracked the balloon down, added more helium and launched it again.
“It’s about empowering young people, especially young girls, to enter into the sciences,” said Matthew Patrick, U of C PhD student. “What the students are learning is what goes into a high-altitude balloon flight and what sort of scientific information you can get from that and as we saw today sometimes things don’t go quite right but we can fix problems and that’s what happens in science.”
The balloon is equipped with sensors to monitor the atmosphere and cameras to record its journey.
“We really like to include everybody to participate and know the importance of trying new things and not forgetting to ask questions and continuing to explore science and engineering as they go through middle school, high school, because there's so many different opportunities in the world,” said Hailee Turpin, U of C Cybermentor Director.
“It's definitely great for us small town kids to do that because we don't have that many opportunities that the city kids have,” said student Kelsey Uittenbogerd.
“I thought it was cool. I like how when it goes up in the air, they know that the oxygen is very low up there and it pops the balloon so that it falls,” said Deslynn Fuller.
The balloon soared about 35 kilometres into the sky before popping, which is high enough to see the curvature of the earth.
The launch in Linden was one of eight taking place across Canada from Vancouver to Inuvik to St. John’s.
Video from the launches and the results of the experiment will be showcased at the Science Rendezvous Festival on May 7th. For more information click HERE.
(With files from Kevin Green)