San Diego Jewish Academy announced that its physics students successfully launched on Friday a high-altitude weather balloon that traveled 90,000 feet, reported the school—the highest attainable altitude in the Earth’s atmosphere before space.

From that height, they say, it’s possible to view the whole world.

The project, the culmination of a semester-long effort by SDJA’s Maimonides Upper School’s (MUS) physics class, “allowed students to integrate their understanding of buoyancy, forces and motion through the hands-on challenge of designing and constructing a payload and data logger,” said SDJA’s MUS physics teacher Patrick Hagerman.

“The payload was recovered in the mountains of Mesa Grande Tribal Reservation after reaching a height of approximately 90,000 feet, making this project a huge success,” he added.

The class is now set to analyze a multitude of data from the project, including GPS positioning, altitude, flight time, temperature and humidity levels throughout the balloon’s flight.

“These students were committed to their mission, and together with their teachers, accomplished something truly incredible,” said head of school Zvi Weiss. “They innovated, experimented, and worked together—these are powerful real-world experiences and lessons they will carry forward for the rest of their lives. We are so excited and proud of them.”

Adam Borek, assistant director of SDJA’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurial Thinking, noted that “in addition to learning the physics, design, engineering and logistics involved, students were also able to practice the art of storytelling during this project. The students assembled a film crew and documented the entire process. This allowed them to hone many valuable skills including cinematography, photography, storyboarding and digital editing.”

Credit: SDJA.
Credit: SDJA.
Credit: SDJA.
Credit: SDJA.
Credit: SDJA.


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