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ERIC Number: EJ1046167
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0047-231X
Active Learning in the Atmospheric Science Classroom and beyond through High-Altitude Ballooning
Coleman, Jill S. M.; Mitchell, Melissa
Journal of College Science Teaching, v44 n2 p26-30 Nov 2014
This article describes the implementation of high-altitude balloon (HAB) research into a variety of undergraduate atmospheric science classes as a means of increasing active student engagement in real-world, problem-solving events. Because high-altitude balloons are capable of reaching heights of 80,000-100,000 ft (24-30 km), they provide a near-space laboratory for students to put the scientific method into practice. Students who participated in HAB experimental design, launch, tracking, recovery, data analysis, and presentation activities were highly motivated and eager to share their experiences with others. In addition to learning time management and teamwork skills, students also came to realize both the challenges and the rewards inherent in studying everyday weather. Not only has daily attendance increased in these classes, but so have positive end-of-course evaluations. Better yet, in the 5 years since the launch of our first high-altitude balloon, enrollment in our professional meteorology track has tripled.
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 107557