Building, launching, and recovering a High Altitude Balloon (HAB) is much more than just a fun weekend hobby. Accessible to students of all ages and skill levels, a HAB might be an elementary school students’ first introduction to science and engineering; a high school students’ first taste of what they might want to study in college, or perhaps a college students’ first opportunity to test theory learned in class to create a control system. Regardless of background, our team at the GSBC truly believes that HABs are a powerful discovery platform to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
A High Altitude Balloon is an engaging, hands-on project that fosters imagination and innovation. HABs give students the opportunity to dream up a solution and then create it with their own hands. The path to a successful HAB experiment offers students an experience analogous to Science and Engineering practices they might one day encounter as working professionals. It gives students a taste of what its like to take a product through the entire engineering process: imagining, designing, prototyping, and testing. Education standards around the world are built on the premise of research and evidence-based learning, and HABs offer this in an informal setting that supplements classroom learning, where students can work on a rewarding project with their friends or even family.
HABs are extremely accessible to people of all backgrounds and experiences. We know that the idea of flying HABs with your students can seem intimidating - after all, something that goes to space must be complicated. But if you follow a few best practices and plan ahead, you'll have no problem making this project a complete success. Check out the tutorials category for some links for getting started or the challenges and previous results category to see what some teams did last year for education. Never hesitate to ask any questions you may have on this category or any of the others - the entire GSBC community is here to help!