STEM students have high hopes for balloon launch
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Neighbors | Alexis Bartolomucci.The weather balloon launched into the sky on May 10 by the Austintown Middle School STEM students at the Austintown Fitch football field.
Neighbors | Alexis Bartolomucci.Eighth-grade STEM students prepared the weather ballon for the launch on May 10 at Austintown Middle School.
Neighbors | Alexis Bartolomucci.Austintown Middle School seventh-grade STEM students watched as they eighth-graders prepared the weather balloon for the launch.
Neighbors | Alexis Bartolomucci.The weather balloon was slowly released into the air by the eighth-grade STEM students from Austintown Middle School.
Neighbors | Alexis Bartolomucci.The eighth-grade Austintown Middle School STEM students got ready to release the weather balloon during the launch on May 10 at the Austintown Fitch football stadium.
Neighbors | Alexis Bartolomucci.Jason Freudenberg and Danielle Chine helped the eighth-grade Austintown Middle School STEM students prepare to launch the weather balloon at the Austintown Fitch football stadium.
By ALEXIS BARTOLOMUCCI
The sky was the limit for the Austintown Middle School STEM students during their fourth annual Weather Balloon Launch on May 10 at the Austintown Fitch Football Stadium.
The weather balloon was 1,200 grams and filled with 80 cubic feet of helium. It carried a payload that included a GPS tracking device, two GoPro cameras and an on-board flight computer that collects data like temperature, pressure and humidity sensors.
Preparing for the weather balloon launch covered the flight and space unit the students have to learn about. Danielle Chine, Disrtict Instructional STEM Coach, said the students have been looking forward to the launch all year.
“They’re super excited. It’s kind of a right of passage for the eighth graders. The seventh-graders watch and next year it will be them,” said Chine.
The students who wanted to be part of the committee had to write an essay explaining why they wanted to be on the committee and why they wanted to track the balloon after the launch. There were nine students selected to be on the committee.
Seventh-grade students attended the balloon launch to watch and get an idea of what they will be doing when they are in that position next year. Many freshman students from Fitch who were in the STEM program at AMS came back to see how the weather balloon launch has changed and improved.
“It’s really fun because we get to be in the whole experience,” said seventh-grader Kristin Yeager.
Yaeger said how she enjoyed being able to watch the balloon launch and track to see where it’s going. She plans on being part of the committee next year as an eighth grader and is ready to get the hands-on experience as the students did this year.
The eighth-grade students on the weather balloon committee will spend the rest of the day tracking and chasing the balloon until it pops and they can bring the data back to be analyzed in the classroom.