Sponsored by Chris Hillcox: Balloon News and Near Space Photography
11-16 students are invited to design and build a science experiment to be carried through the atmosphere by a weather balloon. What measurements could you make? What images could you take?
Themes could include Earth observation, the atmosphere, Natural forces, cold temperatures, pressure or UV. Students could use a Raspberry Pi, or similar, to design and build their own tracker and/ or sensor package.
All entries must be submitted to the Head of Education at the Royal Meteorological Society by 31st March 2017 (deadline extended).
The entry judged best by a panel of judges will be invited to build and launch their experiment.
Terms and Conditions
- The Weather Balloon Competition is organised by the Royal Meteorological Society and Chris Hillcox.
- Entry is free.
- The competition is open to all schools and youth groups in England, Wales and Scotland.
- One school or youth group may submit up to three entries.
- The balloon, helium, parachute and tracking device will be supplied by the competition sponsor. In addition, CAA permission for the launch will be obtained by the sponsor. Support and advice will also be available for the production, tracking and retrieval of the payload.
- All the students involved in the project must be aged 11-16, but they may be reasonably supported by teaching staff when designing and testing their project.
- A maximum of 10 students may attend the launch event, appropriately supported by responsible adults.
- The balloon, with the payload produced by the students, will be launched from a site to be chosen in consultation with Chris Hillcox and the CAA.
- The Society will not be able to cover the costs of transport to and from the launch site, or of any travel involved in recovering the balloon and its payload.
- The payload may not be heavier than 800g.
- The proposal may include commercially available sensors as long as they are used in novel ways.
- All entries will be judged on the quality and originality of the proposed scientific investigation and the appropriateness of the payload design.
- Some general guidance is available at https://www.metlink.org/observations-and-data/balloon-launch/
- Entries should include details of the scientific question being asked, information about the design and components of the proposed payload and evidence from any testing or trialling that has been carried out. Whereas photos of a prototype payload could be included, this is not required.
- The organisers reserve the right not to select a winner, if no suitable entries are received.
- Public Liability for the launch is the responsibility of the school.
- Submission of an entry implies acceptance of these terms and conditions.
Participants may find the following links useful: