Balloon Fest Preview_ 2013

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            Balloon Fest
   Lots of fun!
   Learn real science!
   Work with professional scientists!
   Compete with students at other high schools!
          When & Where
 Regional Balloon Fest:
   – Saturday, Dec 8, 2013
   – Allan Hancock College
 Championship Balloon Fest:
   – Saturday, Apr 20, 2013
   – Tobin James Cellars
     Hwy 46 and Union road
                       The Process
 Prior to Balloon Fest                     Regional Championship
   –   Register your team by                  Sep 29     Jan 1
   –   Design an experiment.
   –   Submit draft Experimental Design by Oct 13        Feb 8
   –   Discuss with your mentor starting      Oct 27     Feb 22
   –   Perform lab tests to check equipment and procedures.
   –   Practice a balloon launch
   –   Refine and improve your experiment
   –   Document the final design, validation, & procedure by
                                              Nov 24     Apr 5
 Balloon Fest                               Dec 8      Apr 20
   –   Gather & Analyze data
   –   Present results
   –   Celebrate with dinner and awards
   –   Publish your results
   Experiment Design Process
 Two Options
  – Science
  – Engineering
                    Science Option
 Choose an interesting and testable question.
 Write a Problem Statement that clearly defines what the
  question is.
 Research the background to this question.
 Design an Experiment that will resolve the question
   – Write several hypotheses around this question.
     An hypothesis is a clearly stated explanation for an observable event. “If I
     do this I expect that to result because …”
   – Create at least one test for each hypothesis.
     A test must be capable of proving an hypothesis false.
     (i.e. failing the test should give you the confidence to completely reject your
     hypothesis, while passing it should reinforce your confidence that it may be

 Write all of this into a clear, professional Design document
  that can be published and shared with your mentor.
       Example Experiment Types
 • Altitude Profiles:
   –   a. Barometric Pressure
   –   b. Air Temperature (Temp. Inversions)
   –   c. Humidity
   –   d. CO2 or O2 %
   –   e. Magnetic Intensity
   –   f. Electric Field strength
   –   g. Cosmic Ray Flux
   –   h. Sound frequency attenuation vs altitude
         Constant sound generator, microphone, oscilloscope with
         fourier analysis, printer and computer
More Ideas available on the website
               Engineering Option
 Choose an interesting and useful problem.
 Write a Problem Statement (or Design Brief) that clearly
  defines what the need is.
 Research the background to this problem.
 Design a Prototype device or procedure that will address
  the need. It should include the following:
   – Product Design Specification (PDS) that details all relevant issues
     surrounding the need and limitation on an appropriate solution.
   – Alternative designs for potential solutions
   – Expectations (pros and cons) of each alternative
   – Full Drawings and other documentation of the chosen design (how to build
     it, test it, and how it is expected to perform)

 Write all of this into a clear, professional Design document
  that can be published and shared with your mentor.
       Example Experiment Types
   • Laser Corner Reflector for laser rangefinder or other studies
   • Find the point directly below the balloon
   • Differential GPS to very accurately measure altitude
   • Trigonometric Altitude measurement
          Two or three base stations, solid geometry, simultaneous
   • Aerial Pictures or wireless Video for altitude measurement
          Interesting perspective but also ability to measure altitude by
          apparent size of image
   • Remote Sensing
          AIRSS: Crop Vigor
   • Comparison of altitude measurements by barometric pressure, line
          length & angle, Laser rangefinder, GPS, Trig, and plate scale.
          Precision & accuracy.
   • Minimum Aneroid Barometer device to determine maximum altitude
          One-way valve to allow air out will sample lowest pressure if T is
   • Release and track a balloon to measure air movement vs altitude.

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