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…

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,…

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…

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…

Solar Panel Inquiry: What Will Happen And Why?

Below: Solar panel and Arduino  Note the solar panel and Arduino that will be launched on a “High Hopes” high altitude weather balloon to about 30,500 meters (100,000 feet). The solar panel will be attached to the top of a payload so it is exposed to the sun, much like the payload pictured here.  The Arduino will record how much electricity the solar panel is producing constantly throughout its flight. What will happen to the amount of electricity the solar panel produces as it climbs through…

Balloon Inquiry: What Will Happen and Why?

Note the 4 party balloons that all started out the same size before they were inflated, on their way to 30,500 meters (100,000 feet ) from a balloon flight last year. On our upcoming flight we will inflate 4 of the same size balloons – the first balloon will be inflated to about 1/4 of its capacity (like the yellow balloon in the photo), the second balloon to about 1/2 of its capacity (see the green balloon above), the third to about 3/4 its capacity…

Now You Can Submit High Hopes With Twitter!

When we launch our balloons to 100,000 feet (30,000+ meters) this spring, the world’s high hopes will go with them. Now we’ve made it even easier to submit a “High Hope” using Twitter. Just “Tweet” your “High Hope” for the world, include the hashtag #hhpstem – and we’ll get it and include it in a payload that will take it to near space and then release it to spread around the world. So your “High Hope” will really go high! We suggest however that having…