A weather balloon launched by a group of fourth-grade students that traveled more
than 250 miles (400 kilometers), crossed the Canadian border, and landed in Lake
Erie is back home in Elkhart, Indiana, USA.
Students in Ryan Wallick's fourth-grade class at Concord East Side Elementary School
launched a weather balloon on May 10, 2019. The balloon, which was carrying student
experiments and various tracking devices, reached an altitude of 106,000 feet (32,308
meters) and speeds of over 180 miles per hour (290 kilometers per hour), before
landing approximately 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of Port Glasgow Ontario.
The balloon rig drifted in Lake Erie for 8 days before Orange Force Marine Ltd's
owner, Derek Niles volunteered his services and vessel to help recover the balloon
On May 23, thirteen days after the balloon launched, Mr. Wallick's students received
their balloon rig, GoPro camera footage, and data stored on the rig's flight computer.
This information will help them complete experiments about the effects of the atmosphere
on various objects. The attached GoPro camera will also offer a rare look at the
upper atmosphere. Mr. Wallick and his students would like to sincerely thank the
Erieau, Ontario, Port Glasgow, Ontario, and Port Stanley, Ontario communities for
their assistance and support in finding and recovering their weather balloon.
Mr. Wallick and his students would also like to extend a huge thank-you to Orange
Force Marine (OFM) for dedicating their resources, equipment, and expertise in searching
for and recovering the balloon, as well as OFM's commitment to adding value to the
project by helping educate students about the process and tools used to locate and
recover the weather balloon rig. You can find Mr. Wallick on Twitter: @ces_highability,
and Orange Force Marine: @orangeforecemar to see pictures and more information about
this exciting project!