Abstract Bismarck State College (BSC) is a community college in the North Dakota University System (NDUS) that offers a range of two-year technical programs, a bachelor’s degree and a liberal arts transfer program. With the goal of increasing student engagement in the sciences and sheer enjoyment of the adventure of space, Bismarck State College founded a High Altitude Ballooning (HAB) Club in the summer of 2015. The HAB club is an informal group comprising 3 faculty members, one retired engineer and an amateur radio operator and APRS enthusiast. All but one of the members of the HAB club are ham radio operators. In fall of 2015 the members of the club began (and continue to work) working with the BSC STEM club comprising faculty from the sciences and primarily engineering students. On September 19th, 2015, BSC STEM club completed its first high altitude balloon flight to the edge of near space. The launch served as training for the BSC faculty and students in launching and retrieval of a high altitude balloon. The payload consisted of a Byonics Micro-Tracker 1000 and a Go-Pro Camera. Feedback from students indicates that ballooning has increased their interest in science and scientific inquiry. Additional feedback provides compelling evidence of increased student confidence in solving challenging open-ended problems, and ability to navigate the challenges of working in a team. Bismarck State College Foundation provided funding for a second successful launch on the 7th of May 2016. We share both the successes and challenges of starting a ballooning program and the lessons we have learned.
How to Cite:
Musumba, T. M., Arso, R., Holman, M., Niessen, D. & Fettig, P., (2016) “Establishing a Ballooning Program at Two Year College in North Dakota”, Academic High Altitude Conference 2016(1). doi: https://doi.org//ahac.9518