Iowa Near Space Project Integrating Research and Education (INSPIRE) employs High Altitude Ballooning (HAB) to engage undergraduate students in a research project to advance Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) content knowledge among pre-service teachers. Through the use of hands-on high altitude balloon design, launch, and data analysis, undergraduate science, geography, and education students continue to conduct research and develop curricular materials to promote K-12 education.
First, pre-service teachers learn the basics of HAB, data instruments, and capsule building.
Then, students participate in an actual HAB launch. The capsules they create with data instruments are sent into the atmosphere to take photographs of the earth's surface and take atmospheric readings.
At the end of the year, students travel to Wallops Island, VA to experience NASA's HAB program and visit their research facilities.
Check out more photos from INSPIRE below!