WEATHER BALLOON: DM School’s Camera Survives 90,000 Ft. Fall

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A Des Moines school gave their students a unique perspective of the earth.

Students at Callanan Middle School attached a camera to a weather balloon and let it go. The camera was put in a tool box with a GPS tracker.

It flew as high as 90,000 feet into the stratosphere before the balloon popped.

Luckily the camera survived the 17-mile fall and landed in a farmer’s field.

The teachers who helped with the experiment say that projects like this are what show kids how fun science can be.

“They really enjoy it, they get a lot out of it,” Gerald Joseph said. “Science Bound (Program) has been around for 21-22 years so it’s a good example of kids being able to learn science hands on and see a connection between science and math.”

The school first did the project last year after watching a video on the internet.


  • Mike Cee

    Brilliant. Drop a camera from 17 miles up and hope that it doesn’t damage anything or kill anyone when it returns to earth. How ignorant does a teacher have to be to condone this activity?

    • RoccoB

      Easy there Debbie Downer.
      It looked as if this camera fell back to Earth via a secondary chute to slow its decent.
      It’s Iowa…..not Midtown Manhattan.

  • Earl

    Still, the parachuting camera COULD cause damage. If it did, someone would be in deep, deep trouble. If this was something approved of by the school board, Des Moines taxpayers would foot the bill.

  • Carla

    The students are very fortunate to have teachers like Mr. Bonte who are so committed to providing the time & attention in and outside the classroom. Thank you Mr. Bonte!!!

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