Nov 21, 2014 –
November 18, 2014, hundreds of elementary, middle and high school students celebrated science, technology, engineering and math during the STEM day in Albuquerque’s North Valley.
The NM MESA Valley High School club helped put on the very successful event.
Two high altitude balloons with student-developed experiments aboard were launched from the Valley High School football field at 9:20 a.m. on Nov. 14. One of the balloons rose to 75,000 feet before bursting, its payload parachuting to Earth.
The second balloon rose to a height 103,000 feet before it burst, a record for a New Mexico student effort. Both balloons were recovered near Santa Rosa, N.M., providing great scientific data, information and images for related STEM activities.
The balloon launch was among many activities students participated in during North Valley STEM Day. Nearly a dozen schools took part in activities centering on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math including student-created rocket launches, flight simulations, atmospheric pressure experiments and underwater remote controlled vehicle observations.
Participating schools included Valley, West Mesa and Sandia high schools; Taft, Garfield and John Adams middle schools; and Cochiti, Griegos and Los Ranchos elementary schools. Participating organizations included the Valley and West Mesa JROTC programs, the Valley science department and MESA students. Alma Ripley, the assistant principal at Carlos Ray Elementary, helped to coordinate the student work and communication for this event as part of the APS STEM Trajectory Initiative.
The Albuquerque Astronomical Society brought a solar telescope and display, the New Mexico Fractal Foundation provided a fractal demonstration, and the High Desert ARC brought an amateur (Ham) radio station for the students to talk to 11 different countries, some as far as Russia and China.