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Re: [GPSL] Flying with the schools

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  • Ed Moore
    Our experiences here in the UK tally somewhat. It s tough for schools, teachers are afraid of taking risks - it usually costs them a lot of credance with other
    Message 1 of 34 , May 1, 2009
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      Our experiences here in the UK tally somewhat.

      It's tough for schools, teachers are afraid of taking risks - it
      usually costs them a lot of credance with other staff/principals if
      the experiment isn't a success. Whilst the cost of a mission is £60
      for a balloon, £30 for helium and a tank of gas to go and get it, the
      cost for supply teachers to cover at the school when other teachers
      and kids go ballooning is maybe five times that.

      We were lucky enough to work with a very forward thinking, innovative
      teacher, but I personally saw the risks he took and the favours he
      pulled in to get the school to agree to an experiment with us. And
      whilst we'll never know, I get the impression it would have set things
      back for him had the experiment not worked.

      Anyway, in the end it was pretty successful and we all had a blast,
      and it's now a much easier 'sell' the concept to other schools and
      education authorities as a result. Here is some coverage of what we did:


      I think the trick is, as you say, to find the specific teacher and
      work with them. Now we have a teacher on side who we can point other
      understandable conservative, skeptical teachers towards, who can vouch
      for the project from their point of view, and who understands their
      concerns and the pressures they work under.

      Keep pushing, it's worth it.

      Ed Moore

      Cambridge University Spaceflight

      On 1 May 2009, at 21:56, Joe wrote:

      > isn't that sooo very sad?
      > BASE wrote:
      >> Joe and friends,
      >> I have found that the schools are more willing to work with us when
      >> I can point to specific academic (science) standards that have been
      >> established for their grade level by our state department of
      >> education. In Indiana, this means that it is easier to fly in high
      >> schools with an Earth Science class than with an advanced chemistry
      >> or physics class. To fly with fourth graders emphasize air, wind,
      >> and weather, with fifth graders - fly an experiment that looks at
      >> changes in matter during and after a flight.
      >> Last year, even with standard identification, our offer to fly was
      >> only accepted by 10 teachers out of a a pool of 150+.
      >> Howard
      >> No virus found in this incoming message.
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    • wb8elk@aol.com
      Hi Paul, Actually there are many folks in AMSAT who have an interest in Near Space....I attended the AMSAT conference last October in Atlanta and presented a
      Message 34 of 34 , May 3, 2009
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        Hi Paul,
          Actually there are many folks in AMSAT who have an interest in Near Space....I attended the AMSAT conference last October in Atlanta and presented a talk on Near Space and using it as a way to test out satellite transponders....there was another talk that included Near Space from the Auburn folks and yet another group from Miami talked about balloons as a stepping stone to satellite payload research. I discussed flying an SDR (software defined radio) system similar to that going up in SuitSat2 on a balloon and that received some interest in doing that as well.
          AMSAT actually does have a NearSpace link on their website but it hasn't been updated for awhile.
          As to working with the FAA....EOSS has a great relationship with the FAA and if any rule changes are forthcoming....we could start with that relationship.....also I attended a conference in Iowa a couple years ago that was focused on Near Space....there are several big companies that operate under Part 101....Space Data...and NearSpace Corp....I'm certain that they both have a voice and some clout as any changes to Part 101 would tremendously affect them. At that Smallstat conference I talked with the fellow who heads the FAA department that deals with scientific and sounding balloons (he presented a talk about the possibility of balloons striking aircraft)......a handful of near misses and one possible strike with no damage after 60 years of ballooning.....he's a very approachable and open person...I'll look up his contact info. However, I'd advise not asking for clarifications or updates to the rules unless we get word that there appears to be a rule change in the works since government rule changes usually are MORE restrictive than less.
        - Bill WB8ELK
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