Projects shared at NYC festival

GLOVERSVILLE – A group of Gloversville High School students who have been working on an extra-curricular high-altitude weather balloon project recently returned from New York City, where they presented their achievements at the World Science Festival.

With grant funding secured through state Sen. Hugh T. Farley, GHS senior Jillian Christiano, juniors Nick Brock and Austin Reese, sophomores Rami Haddawi and Brady Putman and GHS science teacher Christopher Murphy this year launched the project at the school, according to a news release.

Working primarily after school, Murphy and the students successfully launched a high-altitude weather balloon this winter, carrying still and video cameras and an open source computer to record data.

The group launched the balloon on the campus of Hamilton College and tracked it on its journey – which reached heights of up to 60,000 feet – with the help of the locally based Tryon Amateur Radio Club, the news release said. After landing, the group recovered the balloon in the Peck Hill State Forest just outside the Gloversville city limits.

On May 31, the students and Murphy attended the World Science Festival in New York City, where they displayed their balloon and answered questions from hundreds of event attendees, the news release said.

The project has allowed the students to sharpen a number of science, technology, engineering and math skills, the news release said.

“Through the project, students have gained hands-on experience with payload engineering and design, high-altitude math calculation, atmospheric research and development, open software computer electronics, HAM radio operation, and high-altitude photography and editing, search and recovery development and implementation,” Murphy said in the news release.

The students also have been introduced to the workings of government agencies as the balloon launches require Federal Aviation Authority, the news release said.

A spring launch of another weather balloon, larger than the first, is planned.