Proving the world is round

Times education

Times education

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Students from Newbold Community School have been working on an amazing project to launch a weather balloon into the stratosphere to take images of the Earth’s curvature.

The project, the brainwave of science teacher Mr Moss, was undertaken by key stage three students who worked together in an after school science club.

The huge balloon was connected to a camera which, once launched, videoed the journey and captured the exciting route.

GPS routers tracked the balloon and the team followed in the school minibus to collect the balloon and camera wherever it came down.

The balloon was filled with helium, so that once launched, it would shoot up into the sky.

As the pressure increases the particles expand meaning that before bursting the balloon could reach up to six metres in diameter.

Clearance had to be obtained from the aviation authorities before the countdown could begin in front of the whole school.

The team raced out in the minibus and tracked the balloon to Leicestershire but unfortunately have still not located the camera, which is a shame as the viewing of the video footage would have been great fun.

The students involved, however, have learnt so much in the process.

Reanne Bower helped to make the box containing the camera and was also responsible for setting up the camera.

She said: “I have learnt so much more about space – it’s been really interesting”.

Ellie Palmer was responsible for finding a launch site. She was “really excited and glad I volunteered”.

Nathan Whitworth, who was in charge of doing trajectory models to see where the balloon might land, thought that “releasing the balloon and seeing the photos is very exciting”.

Taneisha Warner was pleased she had volunteered because there “were loads of students from different year groups working together”. Her main role was angling the cameras.