This is the background detail on the Team Stellar High Altitude Balloon mission that Jason and I are flying to Croatia to assist. The article below is from the Team Stellar website:
Team Stellar is developing a project competition “STELLAR BALLOON – STRATOSPHERE”, open to teams from all interested high schools throughout Croatia.
Team Stellar will launch a science balloon into the stratosphere, about 30 km above the Earth’s surface, to collect data for the purposes of diverse student-designed experiments of the competition participants.
Through this innovative project, high-school students are given the opportunity to work with scientists and engineers from Team Stellar and experience an authentic flight mission from the start to the finish firsthand, while learning practical math, science and engineering skills, among others.
“STELLAR BALLOON – STRATOSPHERE” COMPETITION AIMS TO:
• challenge their imaginative thinking and creativity
• support educational needs of gifted children
• encourage inter-institutional cooperation
• develop teamwork skills
• create a “healthy” environment and interest to improve the educational system and free-time activities
• raise awareness about the natural phenomena and ecological values of the planet Earth
CONDITIONS AND FUNDING:
There is no limit to the number of teams that can apply and every high school in Croatia can participate.
In order to join the competition, the applicants must submit an official proposal containing all the necessary documentation, including a clear description of the experiment, scientific objectives, technical plan, team organization, etc. A wide variety of topics may be pursued, including science and weather observations, remote sensing and image processing, engineering demonstrations, electronics, robotics and communications, etc.
Team Stellar and the committee members will select the first 20-50 candidates to participate in the balloon launch.
The selection will be made based on the originality of the idea and the quality of the student-designed experiments.
The schools are responsible for the funding of their teams’ experiments. Team Stellar will provide the necessary resources for the balloon [payload] design.
Team Stellar will award the best three experiments.
Team Stellar will uplift the balloon [payload], track it, collect it upon landing, and return the payloads comprising of various experiments, planned by the students, to the participating teams for further analysis of the gathered data.
Each team is obligated to submit a final report, including the experiment description and the results, along with the entire work process within the team. All the participating high-school teams will have access to the complete results of the experiments.