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Bozeman area students launch weather balloon, look to learn from collected data

Published On: May 13 2013 02:23:42 PM MDT   Updated On: May 13 2013 02:31:32 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Monforton School students west of Bozeman are waiting for data from a weather balloon they launched into the stratosphere Monday morning.

Students helped folks from the Montana Space Grant Consortium, MSU and the University of Montana inflate the balloon.

Teachers with Monforton tell us it's all about hands-on learning and promoting science and technology.

Folks with the National Weather Service will be able to track temperature, humidity and wind speed, information they use to predict weather and students will get to learn about how temperature changes with elevation.

Students tell us they were excited to learn about the balloon and be a part of the launch.

"That you can know the weather from just a balloon," says 4th grader Ava Doers.

Monforton 7th grader Garret Nielson says he didn't know what to expect.

"Just seeing how high it went and how long we could see it...The balloon wasn't quite as big as I thought it was going to be so, that was pretty interesting," says Nielson.

6th grader Kit Munson volunteered to help send off the balloon. He says he was glad to see it go off without a hitch.
"Getting data from this and knowing you're a part of that, getting the data," says Munson.

He says he's excited to learn more about the weather.

"About the weather and pressure zones. We're having a really bad drought right now and seeing if we could answer any questions about that, like El Niño weather patterns and what not," says Munson.

Nielson says he's excited about what he'll learn from the data.

"Just seeing how the weather changes as the balloon gets higher, that'll be pretty interesting," explains Nielson.

Representatives with the Montana Space Grant anticipate the balloon will get up to between 50,000 and 70,000 feet before it bursts. It does have a parachute attached to it and is expected to land somewhere in Big Timber.