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Gloversville Enlarged School District

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May 27, 2018


Posted 12/1/16

GHS students launch fifth weather balloonteacher and student holding balloon prior to launch

Students involved in Gloversville High School’s High Altitude Achievement (HAA) Club recently launched their third year of extra-curricular science activity by releasing the club’s fifth weather balloon.

With approximately a dozen active members now, the HAA Club is planning a busy schedule for the rest of the year with expanded and more sophisticated launches on the drawing board. The club is even looking to offer help to scientists from across the country who need assistance gathering high-altitude data.

On Nov. 18, club members traveled to Madison County to release a balloon, which was equipped with video cameras and an open source computer to record data. According to preliminary data, the balloon reached an altitude of more than 91,500 feet. Students tracked the balloon to its landing location near Canajoharie.

According to GHS science teacher and HAA advisor Christopher Murphy, now that they have a few years of experience under their belts, club members have begun taking on more primary responsibilities during the flights. For the future, club members are discussing launching multiple balloons at once, utilizing different gasses, cameras and other equipment.

Working through the National Teachers in Space Program, the club will also soon be working as an approved subcontractor to fly experiments on weather balloons for scientists from across the country. Right now the club is gearing up to launch an experiment for the University of Wisconsin in the spring. In addition to being an educational experience, such work could also fund future HAA activities.

Students look at computer monitors tracking a weather balloon

Two teachers and two student arrange components in a payload box for the balloon

Captions: Top: Christopher Murphy and an HAA member prepare a weather balloon for launch from a golf course in Madison County. Middle: HAA members track the weather balloon as it makes its way east. Bottom: Murphy, GHS science teacher Eric Garippa and HAA members install electronics in a weather balloon's payload.