During fall 2012 we carried out a high-altitude balloon research project with 8th-grade students from Burley Elementary School in Chicago, IL, which included a launch on November 18. An important focus was to engage the students in both science and engineering aspects of ballooning. This was partially motivated by the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education, and the recent release of the Next Generation Science Standards. In addition to identifying disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts appropriate for each grade level, these documents strongly emphasize science and engineering practices, such as asking questions and defining problems, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, constructing explanations and designing solutions, and obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. We found that high-altitude ballooning provided an ideal context for teaching middle school science in the context of these practices. Here we will provide and overview of the eight practices and discuss concrete examples from our ballooning project at Burley School.
How to Cite:
Beck-Winchatz, B. & Beck, K. & Medintz, T., (2013) “High-Altitude Ballooning in Middle School: Focusing on Science and Engineering Practices”, Academic High Altitude Conference 2013(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/ahac.5590