Kids Launch Balloons Complete With GPS And Handheld Radio

from the beats-when-I-was-a-kid dept

When I was in elementary school, I remember a class project where we all went out to the parking lot and launched a bunch of helium filled balloons. Each balloon had postcards attached to them, that we hoped would be sent back to the school by those who found the balloons. Lots of school kids went through similar experiments. I don’t fully remember what happened at my school, but I’m pretty sure no one ever received a post card. It appears we’ve now got a very modern update on the practice. Mike Wendland reports on some third graders in Michigan who launched a large “tetroon balloon”, which traveled nearly 600 miles. Of course, instead of waiting for a random kind soul to send back a postcard, they included a radio transmitter and a GPS device on the balloon, so they could track its whereabouts. The project was set up (and paid for!) by the elementary school’s “director of technology” (I don’t think we had one of those when I was a kid) – who also used his own ham radio to find someone who would go retrieve (and send back) the tetroon once it landed.

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