North Glenmore Elementary's gator mascot went to space on a balloon launched from Dr. Knox school.
The next near-space shot orchestrated by kids at a Kelowna middle school should reach beyond the 94,000-foot plateau obtained by a recently-launched balloon-and-camera contraption.
"Mini cameras are getting lighter all the time, so there's certainly the potential for our next launch to go higher," Bruce Watts, a teacher at Dr. Knox Middle School, said Sunday.
Watts is one of the teachers behind a school space-related project that's getting a lot of attention on YouTube and other social media.
As part of their video production class, Grade 9 students attached three video cameras, a GPS tracking
device, and mascots representing Dr. Knox and Bankhead elementary to platform that was then carried aloft by several balloons.
On its ascent last October, the aptly-named Knox Bankhead Space Balloon took beautiful images of Kelowna, the Okanagan, and the B.C. Interior. Eventually, the curve of the earth and the edge of space is visible before the balloon bursts and the whole thing comes tumbling down.
Pushed by winds of more than 100 km/h, it landed in the forests near Winthrop, Wash. Watts and a fellow teacher, Kevin Robinson, drove as near as they could to the landing site using the GPS tracker. They then hiked and camped for three days to retrieve the space balloon and its cameras.
With the images collected from the cameras, the students worked in groups of four to create their own three-to-five minute videos of the space balloon's rise and fall.
The participating kids may have learned some science-related facts, to do with such things as atmospheric conditions and geography, but the project was mainly an exercise in video production, editing, and the use of social media.
The videos were just recently uploaded to YouTube. A similar project involving a space balloon will likely be undertaken again next fall.