Hartlepool pupils send balloon into space for science project

From left to right, Dr David Gabb, Marcus Tetlow, Cameron Burns, Jake Bennett, Liam Fletcher, Josh Tate, Joseph Leck, Johnathon Elvin, Nathan Harrison and Ethan Jones.
From left to right, Dr David Gabb, Marcus Tetlow, Cameron Burns, Jake Bennett, Liam Fletcher, Josh Tate, Joseph Leck, Johnathon Elvin, Nathan Harrison and Ethan Jones.

Children in Hartlepool are celebrating after their out-of-this-world school project surpassed expectations.

Over the last two years, a group of students from St Hild’s School, based in King Oswy Drive, have been working towards launching a high- altitude balloon into space.

The balloon reached over 32,000m.

The balloon reached over 32,000m.

And as these amazing pictures show, the project was a success, with the balloon reaching around 100,000ft (30,480m).

The pupils launched the balloon in Keswick, with a payload attached to it containing a camera to film the journey.

There was also a black box to record scientific data, as well as a GPS device so the box could be located once it had landed in order to get the footage.

The experiment was organised by the school’s maths teacher and numeracy co-ordinator, Lucy Wadsworth, and science teacher Dr David Gabb.

The boys did tremendously well on this project and their hard work definitely paid off

Lucy Wadsworth

Miss Wadsworth said: “It was a cross-curricular maths-science project, and was aimed at inspiring the students to use these subjects outside of the classroom.

“When the balloon was launched, it shot away at quite a speed.

“Before it was set off, we looked at an online predictor which showed that the balloon should land around the Consett area.

“Once the balloon had been set off, all we could do was wait and hope for the GPS to become contactable once it was low enough to the ground, so we just headed to the area that the predictor had stated.

A camera was attached so the balloon's journey could be demonstrated.

A camera was attached so the balloon's journey could be demonstrated.

“There was a tense wait, and the boys had just given up hope and set off back to school when the GPS locator started communications.

“We were half an hour from where the GPS signal was coming from, so went on a search. After quite a hunt, we found the payload in a field and had quite a celebration.

“We have not had a chance to look at the black box data, but we will and are expecting the balloon to have reached at least 30,000m high.

“We’d like to say a special thanks to Hartlepool FC and The Toolbox for sponsoring our project.

The balloon was launched in Keswick, Cumbria.

The balloon was launched in Keswick, Cumbria.

“The boys did tremendously well on this project and their hard work definitely paid off. They are a credit to the school.”

The pupils had been working on the project for two years.

The pupils had been working on the project for two years.