Adding Math and Science to your sTEm Project

Adding Math and Science to your sTEm Project

welcome NYSMTP! The STEM based projects & activities below can be found on this website. These activities are ones that can be done in a classroom, and may actually be applicable without the lean towards manufacturing. However, feel free to brows through and see what can be done if you want to work it into an engineering or technology based setting.

Overview of HAB Project:

One of the most exciting projects, according to all of my former students, was the HAB, or High Altitude Balloon Project done in my Engineering Design & Development class. Looking back on it, it was one of the biggest challenges my students ever faced with the highest risk of failure as well, but with risk, comes reward. The view of the curvature of the earth on video was absolutely stunning!

Also in retrospect, this project required my students to apply more math and science concepts than any other as well.

  • Math: One former student developed an equation to determine accurately how much helium to put in the balloon. This equation is used widely in HAB projects worldwide.
  • Earth Science: Tracking teams had to analyze weather data and other factors to determine where it would land:
  • Physics: Students had to determine forces on all parts to determine failure points in the project.
  • Thermodynamics: Batteries do not work in low temps… how do you power it?
  • Fluid Dynamics: How does temperature affect the size of the balloon? Elevation? What makes it go higher?

HAB Explanation Video

Sample Data

Below is some sample data from our flight:

Ascent Rate5.52 m/sec18.1102 Ft/sec12.3 mph
Burst Altitude29,706 Meters97460 feet18.45 miles
Descent Rate6.15 m/sec20.177 ft/sec13.75 mph
Payload Mass1542.2 g3.39 lbs
Balloon Mass1000 g2.204 lbs
Neck Lift3308 g7.292 lbs
Launch Volume_____ m3105-115 cu ftFrom PM spreadsheet
Launch Circumference18.68ftRadius = 2.97 ft
Lat/Long Launch43.067  -775156PM HS
Launch Time9:18:30May 21 2014
Landing42°34.12’N  76° 58.57’W42.588860, -76.972154   Milo NY
Landing Time12:52:48

Graph Data

Image Gallery




Chris and Jim CIM
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