Written by eighth graders Cambria and Maddie
We drove up to the rolling fields of Scranton, PA. Instantly, we were in awe of the large, beautiful property around us. From this magnificent farm, we would launch our weather balloon with the artistic payload that we created attached underneath. We called this project the Space Museum.
In anticipation, we walked up to the farm house and set up our things. We ate lunch in a small circle around a picnic table. Then, it was time for the launch. We didn’t exactly know what to expect and were a bit fearful but eager to begin.
The huge helium tank that would fill the massive balloon was brought onto the field. The ballon began to fill quickly, while all of us watched and helped to hold it up. We observed in fascination as the balloon expanded, hoping that it wouldn’t pop. The payload was attached and everything was ready.
Everyone crowded around to take pictures to remember the moment as Ashwin ran with the balloon to get it into the air. It lifted off the ground, as we screamed and cheered in excitement and relief. We watched as the balloon rose until it was so high up that it was barely visible in the sky. Still, we stood squinting and straining our eyes to catch one last glimpse.
As we drove back to school, we yearned to know what happened to our precious weather balloon and payload. It ended up traveling 60,500 feet into the -22oF air before the balloon eventually popped. It landed near Milford, NJ, and we were able to recover it. The balloon traveled at a maximum speed of 66 miles per hour. Wow!
We are so grateful to have been able to have such a unique STEAM learning experience. Through this project, we learned the importance of thinking outside the box. We would like to thank Willow parent, Adam Kalkin, Aaron Ray-Crichton, Ms. Palmer, and Mrs. Kimtis for taking time to help us with this project and help to expand on our ideas.