Geographic Alliance of Iowa logo + banner


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.

The Process

First, pre-service teachers learn the basics of HAB, data instruments, and capsule building.

INSPIRE students INSPIRE students INSPIRE students

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. 

INSPIRE launch INSPIRE launch INSPIRE launch photo

At the end of the year, students travel to Wallops Island, VA to experience NASA's HAB program and visit their research facilities. 

INSPIRE at Wallops Island INSPIRE at Wallops Island INSPIRE at Wallops island

Check out more photos from INSPIRE below!

INSPIRE at NCGE- Denver, 2013

High-Altitude Ballooning & the Properties/Functions of Water

INSPIRE at NCSS- St. Louis, 2013

High-Altitude Ballooning, Populations: Movement, Growth, & Decline

Looking Over Lukeville: Migration and the Border Fence

The Economic Lanscape of Cedar Falls, Iowa: A Case Study

INSPIRE at NCSS- Boston, 2014

Text Set 

Using Geographic Tools to Investigate Water Environments

Using Geographic Tools to View Environmental Changes

Using the Potential of Geographic Tools to Find a Solution

GAI logo Iowa Space Grant Consortium logo NASA logo UNI logo National Geographic Education