Oral Presentation Only

Application of High Altitude Ballooning Activity in a Course for Pre-Service Science Teachers

  • Timothy Kroeger (Bemidji State University)
  • John Truedson (Bemidji State University)
  • Cooper Blackwood (Bemidji State University)
  • Brianna Fuller (Bemidji State University)
  • Alexander Hendrick (Bemidji State University)
  • Heather Irwin (Bemidji State University)
  • Michelle Jipson (Bemidji State University)
  • Patrick LaBelle (Bemidji State University)
  • Jed Swensen (Bemidji State University)


Professional Education students seeking licensure in a middle school or secondary science discipline at Bemidji State University must complete “Integrative Science for Teachers”, an interdisciplinary, junior-level course that includes investigative components in Earth Sciences and Physics. High altitude ballooning activities were introduced into this class in the Spring Semester of 2012 have been included annually since then. Student teams designed experiments and payloads to collect the required data; launch/recovery was completed on a class weekday. Student teams presented the results of their experiments at a campus-wide academic conference. As currently implemented, the project is introduced at the beginning of the semester and continues throughout the semester. About eight 2-hour class sessions are devoted to the project plus a full day for launch recovery operations. Only one of seven students had previously participated in a ballooning activity and none were previously involved in designing ballooning experiments. Six of seven students identified the ballooning activity as very appropriate given the multidisciplinary aspect of the class; most students felt fully engaged by the project, especially with the payload design component. About 40 middle school students participated in launch activities providing a unique mentoring experience for the course’s students. Challenges include: maintaining engagement throughout an extended project; arranging group work outside of regular class time, meeting specific deadlines for completion of project components, ensuring that adequate post-launch time is available to complete data analysis and prepare oral or poster presentations, and ensuring that adequate class time is available to accomplish other course learning outcomes.

How to Cite:

Kroeger, T., Truedson, J., Blackwood, C., Fuller, B., Hendrick, A., Irwin, H., Jipson, M., LaBelle, P. & Swensen, J., (2014) “Application of High Altitude Ballooning Activity in a Course for Pre-Service Science Teachers”, Academic High Altitude Conference 2014(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/ahac.5586



Published on
01 Jan 2014
Peer Reviewed