Burlington students prepare to launch weather balloon

Some Connecticut students are preparing to launch a weather balloon. (WFSB)

A group of Connecticut middle school students is preparing to be the first in the northeast to launch a weather balloon.

The students at Har-Bur Middle School in Burlington designed the balloon themselves.

With only a few days to go, the excitement is growing inside 40 Jennifer Michnowicz’s eight-grade science class. These students have been working together to launch a weather balloon this upcoming weekend.

"The balloon is the size of a VW bug and it's going to go up about 60,000 feet into the lower stratosphere,” Michnowicz said.

Inside of this high-altitude balloon will be three boxes, which contain some experiments students at Har-Bur Middle School have designed and have been working on it for the past month.

"So this is the box that the experiments are going to go into. It's just a styrofoam box,” Michnowicz said. “Two of these will be hanging under the balloon and then we'll have a third box that has all of the technology in it."

They'll be sending up a raw egg and some yeast as well as, a bag of potato chips.

"And, we're going to look at how materials and see how it responds to the atmosphere up there,” Emma Kadziolka, who is an eighth-grade student in Michnowicz’s class, said.

It's all part of the First Annual Strato-Star Launch, which is a morning-long event at Har-Bur Middle School.

Once the balloon is launched, they'll be able to track its progress and will be able to see what it looks like up above through a go pro. Michnowicz is one of the people who will be retrieving those boxes once the balloon pops and it parachutes back down to earth.

"The jet stream is such that when we project, it goes all the way to Rhode Island ... we hope it doesn't happen,” Michnowicz said.

For the students who are a part of this project, they said they feel proud that they're the first school to do this in the north-east.

"Knowing our school is behind all of this, it's going to be awesome,” Trevor Rinaldi, who is an eighth-grade student in Michnowicz’s class, said. "It's really cool all of us putting our heads together and figuring all this out together."

The event is open to the public and will be kicking off Saturday at 9 a.m. at Har-Bur Middle School in Burlington. The weather balloon launch is taking place at 10 a.m. For more information, click here.

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