Clint ISD students launch out-of-this-world experiment


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Students from the Clint Independent School District on Thursday launched a high-altitude weather balloon into space from Frank Macias Elementary School.

The high-altitude balloon launch is a project designed to cultivate students’ ability to develop 21st-Century skills. The early stages of the project, for example, replicated the daily tasks of engineers and scientists by assigning the students to design and build their own experiments. 

Student experiments for this project are focused on the affects of temperature and pressure differentials on balloons, seeds and soda. Teachers were able to access directly from the weather balloons information that includes temperature, pressure, altitude, speed, distance and turbulence. 

Students and community members were able to track the balloon and experiment in real-time as it traveled at an altitude of 100,000 feet — about three times as high as a commercial airplane. 

Once it reached peak altitude, it burst and then descended to Earth using a parachute. The launch and recovery team was then able to track and recover the experiments for analysis on-campus.

Students examined data taken from sensors used during the experiments, along with photos and video recorded during the journey. 

One of the benefits of the high-altitude weather balloon project was that it allowed students to get out of the classroom or Zoom and engage in a real-life mission. Students develop skills in science, technology, mathematics and communication while developing their projects that can later transfer to different areas of their lives.

To track where the balloon landed, click here.

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