Oral Presentation Only

STEM Education Research: Useful Ideas for College Instructors Using Ballooning

  • Stacy A. Wenzel (Loyola University Chicago)


Stratospheric ballooning is a tool of enormous promise to help STEM college faculty foster highly engaged learning of science for a wide range of students at a wide range of institutions. High altitude ballooning offers a platform for investigating science and engineering across many fields. Ballooning has been used in courses and experiences for not just undergraduate science majors, but also all undergraduates—including future teachers who, in turn, are the key to improving K-12 science education. Technological advances are lowering the cost of and expertise levels required to make launches and analyze data. Ballooning offers a context within which faculty can use effective research-based educational practices. Studies document that while many faculty are aware of STEM education research findings and new instructional practices, many fewer understand the underlying pedagogical principles behind the practices and have been able to implement new practices effectively. Changing one’s instructional practice is difficult to do and educators trying to do this need appropriate supports including time to try, reflect, try again, discuss with others, etc. Given this, how faculty implement new practices can be widely variable with different levels of success in engaging students successfully in learning STEM content. This session reviews a selection of STEM education research topics and focuses on concrete examples to help college instructors involved in ballooning. Specific facets of instructional practice are examined as are findings related to how to support faculty as they develop professionally and work to implement new practices.

How to Cite:

Wenzel, S. A., (2015) “STEM Education Research: Useful Ideas for College Instructors Using Ballooning”, Academic High Altitude Conference 2015(1). doi: https://doi.org//ahac.9792



Published on
24 Jun 2015