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San Diego Jewish Academy’s physics class launches high altitude weather balloon

The successful launch of a high altitude weather balloon
The successful launch of a high altitude weather balloon was recently accomplished by San Diego Jewish Academy physics students.
(Photo courtesy of San Diego Jewish Academy)

San Diego Jewish Academy recently announced the successful launch of a high altitude weather balloon by their physics students, which traveled 90,000 feet - the highest attainable altitude in the Earth’s atmosphere before space, according to a news release. From that height, it’s possible to view the whole world.

The project, a culmination of a semester-long effort by SDJA’s Maimonides Upper School’s (MUS) physics class, “allowed students to integrate their understanding of buoyancy, forces, and motion through the hands-on challenge of designing and constructing a payload and data logger,” said SDJA’s MUS physics teacher Patrick Hagerman in the news release.

“The payload was recovered in the mountains of Mesa Grande Tribal Reservation after reaching a height of approximately 90,000 feet making this project a huge success for our hardworking students,” continued Hagerman.

The successful launch of a high altitude weather balloon
The successful launch of a high altitude weather balloon was recently accomplished by San Diego Jewish Academy physics students.
(Photo courtesy of San Diego Jewish Academy)

Students will now analyze a multitude of data from the project, including GPS positioning, altitude, flight time, temperature and humidity levels throughout the balloon’s flight.

“These students were committed to their mission and, together with their teachers, they accomplished something truly incredible,” adds Zvi Weiss, Head of School at San Diego Jewish Academy. “They innovated, experimented, and worked together—these are powerful real-world experiences and lessons they will carry forward the rest of their lives. We are so excited and proud of them.”

“In addition to learning the physics, design, engineering, and logistics involved in a high-altitude balloon launch, students were also able to practice the art of storytelling during this project. The students assembled a film crew and documented the entire process,” said Adam Borek, assistant director of SDJA’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurial Thinking. “This allowed them to hone many valuable skills including cinematography, photography, storyboarding, and digital editing!” — SDJA news release


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