High altitude balloon launch at Lincoln Elementary

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GERING, Neb. Gering High School teachers Justin Reinmuth and Kristian Schnak conducted a high altitude balloon launch at Lincoln Elementary school.

To get the students involved, they wrote a letter and placed it inside of the payload. They hope to retrieve these letters when the balloon hits 100,000 feet. (Kacey Sell)

This is the 2nd year they have launched this balloon as a part of their advanced engineering class to spark interest in students K-5th grade.

During this launch, they set up an APRS system because it is the only thing that can pick up the balloon at high altitudes.

It is also the same equipment used at the International Space Station for communication.

They placed trackers, cameras and go-pros in the balloon to detect altitude and location.

To get the students involved, they wrote a letter and placed it inside of the payload.

They hope to retrieve these letters when the balloon hits 100,000 feet.

“We just wanted them to be part of it,” said Reinmuth. “We are just trying to spark interest in STEM for the kids. We want to show them the kind of things that once they get out of elementary school and get into junior high school, the kind of projects they will be able to do when they take the STEM classes.”

This is the first year they have launched a balloon while it was snowing.
Reinmuth states that the cooler weather is better because lower barometric pressure provides the chances of a higher altitude.

To prepare for the launch, they have to call the FAA to get a NOTAM’S which is used to tell the airport and flight control when and where they will be launching just in case it comes through a flight path of pilots.

They also have to have a HAM radio license for call signal and recovery.

The Gering High School seniors are in track of recovering the balloon.