My 5th grade class sent up a high altitude balloon … well actually, Dr. Eric Wang from the University of Nevada, Reno, Mechanical Engineering Department and the NevadaSat program sent up a high altitude balloon from our playground with 2 payloads my class designed.
One of our payloads held 3 party balloons and a bag of Cheetos (a class favorite) to find out what effect air pressure would have on them. My students wrote up the experiment on their blogs and we put up a post on the teacher part of our blog soliciting others’ hypotheses of what would happen.
So what did happen? The balloon blown up to only about 1/4 size – green, was stretched almost to it’s breaking point:
The blue balloon which was inflated to about half size expanded so much in the low pressure of high altitude that it managed to intrude into the view of the camera mounted on the side of the payload at about 80,000 feet until it burst.
The orange balloon filled to full, more or less, pictured below at a fairly low altitude, burst first:
Here is a shot that shows the orange and blue balloons burst, and the green balloon expanding:
A great shot of Lake Tahoe from above 80,000 feet … just for fun:
And a couple of shots of the payload back in our classroom after recovery:
And here are links to almost all our photos:
And from the camera that was supposed to be trained directly on the payload with the balloons on top … but we seem to have had somewhat poor aim (but they are WAY cool anyhow!)
My students will be writing this up on their own blogs as well! Wait until you find out the story about where our balloon landed! But you’ll have to read my students’ blog posts about that next week to find out!
Learning is messy!!! (and a blast!)