In 2006, John Mather and George Smoot won the Nobel Prize for physics by discovering background radiation using a high altitude balloon. Now your students have an opportunity to design experiments that solve real world problems, just like the Nobel Prize winners.
The world revolves around physics. StratoStar makes it possible for students to explore concepts of physics that have before only been available to NASA. Students understanding of Earth changes as you float away from the ground surface. While students can see and understand concepts like energy, momentum, and motion while planted firmly on the ground, they can now also design experiments that explore how those concepts at the edge of space. Your students can study the difference in light reflection and refraction at the edge of space, while looking out at the blue horizon line and the darkness of space above it. Students can design experiments to study the change in temperature from the Earth's surface to the edge of space, and the differences in how thermal energy transfers. They may be curious about the magnetic field or the atmosphere's effect on electricity. StratoStar's packages are designed to give your students as many options as possible to learn and to come to love science. Characteristics of the environment of near space:
Your students' physics experiment in near-space will make use of these tools:
- Temperature - ground temp to -90c (varies with the seasons).
- Pressure - sea level (14.7 psi) to 18.5 miles above the earth (0.22 psi).
- Turbulence - Just like an airplane, the payloads experience turbulence going through the jet stream.
- Flight Velocities - Payloads can travel up to 200 mph in the jet stream and fall at speeds of over 100 mph.
- Radiation - Fly above Pfotzerf Maximum
Physics concepts that can be explored in near-space:
- Plug and play flight sensors
- Geiger Counter
Teaching basic theory? Check out these project based learning ideas:
- Motion and Forces
- Energy and Momentum
- Temperature and Thermal Energy Transfer
- Electricity and Magnetism
- Light and Optics
- Modern Physics
Just like NASA scientists, students can design an experiment using a high altitude balloon to investigate Physics concepts. They will use collected data to analyze the forces that cause the balloon to take off (lift and drag), and use maps to understand the horizontal motion of the balloon as it travels across the sky under the forces of the Jet Stream. Once the balloon bursts, students can study the effects of gravity that cause the experiment to fall back to Earth. They can also study the forces of drag on the parachute as it changes altitude in a mission-based cross discipline project that meets state standards.
These are just a few examples of what can be done with a StratoStar system. We can help you develop ideas for student experiments that are fun, exciting, and meet state standards. As a StratoStar customer, you will also have access to a network of other educators who have implemented high altitude platform launches in their curriculum.