Danbury STEM students prepare for May 18 weather balloon launch

DANBURY, CONN. — Eighth-grade students in the STEM program at Westside Middle School Academy are conducting a high-altitude weather balloon project that will culminate in the balloon launch scheduled for Wednesday, May 18, 2016, at Danbury High School, 43 Clapboard Ridge Road in Danbury.

For the second consecutive year, Western Connecticut State University has partnered with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program students at the Danbury middle school to prepare the two balloons and instrument payloads that will be launched on May 18. WCSU meteorology students once again are working with the balloon project team to mentor the Westside eighth-graders in monitoring recent and current weather patterns that will affect the launch and readying instruments to take images and collect data on atmospheric conditions over a range of altitudes during the balloons’ flight.

Members of the Westside Middle School project team have welcomed WCSU participation and are seeking sponsors to assist through donations in providing the equipment and other materials required to complete this year’s project. The Westside team has set a goal to raise $1,300 to meet project expenses, and invites public donations online on the GoFundMe web page at https://www.gofundme.com/weatherballoon2016.

The goal established by this year’s STEM eighth-grade class is to build on last year’s success with achievement of another balloon launch to even higher altitudes while bringing families and supporters together to celebrate the completion of the project. The scheduled launch date of May 18 beginning at around 8:45 a.m. is subject to change in the event of unfavorable weather conditions.

More information about the weather balloon project is available at these Westside Middle School Academy social media sites:
·       YouTube: WSMSA 2016 Super Balloon Project

·       Instagram: wsmsa_weatherballoon
·      Twitter:  WSMSABalloon16.

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.


Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

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