High Hopes Project Launch From (and in) Lake Tahoe

                    After so many delays and scrubbed launches the High Hopes Project balloon successfully launched at (and in) Lake Tahoe on Wednesday, June 3, 2015, at about 8:40 AM from DL Bliss State Park in California.                         The balloon payloads included 5 GoPro cameras (3 shooting video and 2 shooting stills), a student designed payload that contained a reel system that would reel the 2…

Scrubbed High Hopes Launch Today :(

Everything looked good for our launch from Lake Tahoe this morning, well yesterday it looked good right up until 9:45 PM … the weather was still predicted to be perfect … little or no wind … only a few, but picturesque fluffy white clouds … so what was the issue? The predicted flight path changed to areas either in a mountain range covered in 20 to 80 foot pine trees or populated neighborhoods. We reluctantly scrubbed the launch. The issue we are going to have…

First High Hopes Project Launch of the Year!

Today was the day! We launched the first High Hopes Project balloon today at Cottonwood School in Fernley, Nevada. Today’s launch was planned as a way to test the designs for the science and engineering payloads elementary, middle school and high school students have completed. University of Nevada, Reno, mechanical engineering students were on hand to launch the balloon, so it was a real K-18 collaborative event (some of the UNR students are grad students). Here’s a link to a Flickr set of photos. Unfortunately,…

Launch Dates For the High Hopes Project

Monday, May 18, 2015, and Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Yes, we finally have specific launch dates for the High Hopes Project. Like any launch (rocket, plane, business, ….) we’ve experienced issues ranging from finding time to work on the designs and builds of the payloads, to the SBAC testing schedule that blew our schedule apart. Our first launch will be May 18, from Cottonwood Elementary School in Fernley, Nevada. This launch will be used primarily to test the payloads and other engineering designs so any…

Just One Collaborative Aspect of The High Hopes Project

We claim The High Hopes Project in a model global STEM project. Just to highlight one aspect of this project as a collaborative model (and there are many) we are sharing this: In order to fly the “High Hopes” of the world to 30,500 meters (100,000 feet) where they will be released, we challenged Sparks High School Students to design the payload, it includes a mount for a camera to catch the action when it opens to release the “High Hopes” (submit yours here so…

Decomposing Third Graders

Um, it’s not the third graders that are decomposing … it’s the experiment they are performing: The “High Hopes Project” got it’s name originally when we brainstormed the idea to have students compose their high hopes for their education, community and the world, and then actually send their “High Hopes” up really high (30,500 meters, 100,000 feet). Eventually we decided to release the “hopes” so they could filter down to the ground, decay and become one with the Earth. One concern has always been that…

Engineering and Other Challenges Explained to Elementary School

I spent the whole day at Cottonwood Elementary School in Fernley, Nevada, today meeting with the teachers in the blog class I’m teaching there, and then every grade level of students in the school (K-4) to explain their role in the High Hopes Project. It was great working with students again (it always is).   Remember, everyone can participate in this project from anywhere in the world. Your students can tackle the various science, engineering and math problems we’ve already posted, and then the creative…

Learning Arduinos for the High Hopes Project

Arduinos will be utilized in, at the very least, two of the payloads students are designing and building to do everything from releasing the High Hopes of the world – to monitoring solar energy output and more. So before the Sparks Middle School students that are designing how to open the High Hopes payload their colleagues at Sparks High School are designing, they have to know what Arduinos are and how to program them. We delivered 6 copies of Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Project Book: Super-Simple Arduino, a couple…

The “High Hopes Project” Explained!

View from “near space” – about 30,500 meters (100,000 feet) The “High Hopes Project” is designed to be a model global STEM learning project. But what is it really and how does it work? Who is involved? How can my students and I be involved? Last year we dropped GoPro cameras 45 feet deep in Lake Tahoe and pulled them up to almost 30,500 meters (100,000 feet) attached to a high altitude weather balloon to investigate how that would work. No students were involved in…

A Math Problem, Problem

We have a math problem we need help solving. And the first problem we need help with is what is the exact problem we need to solve. We want to figure out the average speed our balloon travels on its way up to about 30,500 meters or 100,000 feet, either in Kilometers Per Hour (KPH) or Miles Per Hour (MPH). What data do we need to collect and share so you (and we) can solve this problem? Oh, and there is no speedometer on the…