High School Students Reach new Heights with STEM Program

Up, up, and away. This balloon launch is all part of a science experiment at Bangor High School. Earth Science Teacher, Ted Taylor said, “This is just a great example of a lot of things we have planned throughout the year.”
It’s part of Bangor High’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program, known as STEM. They’ve teamed up with the University of Maine to experience more hands on learning.

Bangor High School freshman, Issac Robinson, said “When you’re writing on a paper, you don’t get the feeling. You can memorize the equations, but you don’t actually see the equations rise up in the air.”

Students launched a helium–filled balloon approximately 100,000 feet into the fresh air. After the launch, students will chase and track down the balloons, which could land anywhere. Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maine, Rick Eason, said “We’ve been doing this for 12 years and haven’t lost one yet, so fingers crossed.”

A tracking system in the balloons records the temperature, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and ultraviolet radiation every 5 seconds. “The information we found up there tells us a lot of information about the earth and what’s happening down here,” said Daniel O’Brien, 9th Grader.

The point of the project is to get students excited about the STEM field. Eason said, “There’s a big push, as there should be, to get more kids involved in science and math.”

That plan seems to be working. Bangor High Freshman, Paige Brown said, “When I grow up, I want to be a scientist.” and Robinson added “Engineering is kind of what I love to do, it’s just my passion.”

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