Elementary School Leads Community Wide Science Effort

Faculty, staff and volunteers from Columbus Elementary School, Edwardsville, Illinois are leading a community wide science effort that includes Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville High School, Middle Schools and Grade Schools from District 7.  The group is launching two weather balloons toward the upper atmosphere to capture high resolution images and scientific data that includes: GPS location, Temperature, Pressure, Humidity, UVa and UVb.  The data will be analyzed and used in the District’s science programs throughout the year.

The effort is a sequel to a highly successful project that took place two years ago with the fifth graders at Columbus.  That project was sponsored by local volunteers and the Southwest Airlines Adopt A Pilot Program.  The previous launch reached an altitude of 76,500 feet and captured stunning video and still images from “Near Space.”  Technical details, archival photos and links to media coverage can be viewed on the group’s facebook page “nsb columbus.”

Launch is scheduled for Monday, September 17 at 10 am central time.  In the event of adverse weather, an alternate launch date of Tuesday, September 18 has been set.  Real-time progress of the balloon can be accessed through the following links.

This link is to the onboard satellite tracker.  Both balloons will be displayed on a common page. Updates will occur every 6 to 10 minutes provided there is a valid signal between the balloon and the satellite.


These links are to the onboard cell phone trackers.  The balloons are named after the School mascots.  Tiger-One is the High School balloon carrying atmospheric data sensors and a downward facing camera.  The balloon has the highest lift potential and is expected to reach between 80,000 and 100,000 feet.  Jaguar- One is the Elementary School balloon carrying high resolution video equipment and atmospheric data sensors.  This balloon is expected to reach between 60,000 and 80,000 feet.

Link to Tiger-One


Link to Jaguar-One


Wish us Luck!

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