Crabapple Crossing Field Day Ends In Space
Parent volunteer Scott Dunbar created the Crabapple Crossing High Altitude Balloon Project to excite children about science.
Crabapple Crossing Elementary School's Field Day 2012 ended up in space, with help from a parent volunteer who created the Crabapple Crossing High Altitude Balloon Project.
Scott Dunbar said he started the project almost a year ago.
"I had seen something on the Internet where a dad and his son sent a weather balloon up with a video camera in it, and posted the video to YouTube. I have been the “science lab guy” at Crabapple Crossing as a volunteer for some time now, and thought this would be an interesting project to get the kids interested in science," Dunbar said in the story he submitted to Patch.
"I have been fortunate enough to meet many influential scientists through my years at Georgia Tech and in business. Each one of them has a childhood story of how they become interested in science. I wanted to provide an experience which will hopefully interest the kids," he said.
George B. Freiberger, principal of Crabapple Crossing Elementary, said, “We are so fortunate that our parents are involved in their children’s educations and strive to give our students the gift of learning through incredible real-life events. Being in a classroom and hearing about this type of experiment and seeing it first-hand are two completely different experiences."
Dunbar and the other project volunteers had to coordinate with the FAA and its air traffic controllers to make sure they were tracking the balloon and so it would not interfere with air traffic.
The balloon was filled with helium and launched from Crabapple Crossing Elementary School.
"The balloon travelled 190 miles southeast from Crabapple to the Oconee National Forest as it rose to about 75,000 feet, reaching ground speeds of up to 109 mph. It then turned back towards Alpharetta as it continued to rise to a maximum recorded height of 90,377 feet, where we lost communication with the payload for about 30 minuntes," Dunbar said. "We are unsure how much higher the ballon rose before bursting, but our calculations were for it to pop at approximately 105,000 feet.
"We only received three more transmissions from the ballon, with the last transmission putting it at 88,589 feet just above Monroe, GA," the parent volunteer said
The balloon was successfully recovered by Tim Law in Ellijay, GA after traveling a total of 303 miles.
"This was a wonderful occasion for the entire Crabapple Crossing school community and a highly memorable way to close out our 2012 Field Day,” said Principal Freiberger.