Chi-Hi students launch second balloon to ascend an altitude of - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Chi-Hi students taking their education to a new level


Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - Although school wasn't in session today, some Chippewa Falls students took part in a larger than life field experiment that required them to play detective.

Instead of filling backpacks with school books, the Chippewa Falls High Altitude Balloon Club was on its second mission to launch a balloon almost 85,000 feet into the sky and let the wind take its course. Jacob Letendre, a senior at Chippewa Falls High School, said, "I never thought I would have the chance to do something this cool and this hands on when it comes to Science.

Luke Blank, a senior at Chippewa Falls High School, said, "It's just fun to do."

Letendre said, "It's way more difficult than what we thought it would be."

Like a plane before take off, the balloon needed preparations prior to its flight. Blank said, "Launching it is the best part."

Nick Gagnon, a physics teacher at Chippewa Falls High School, said, "We only had just enough helium to make it launch. And we're finding right now as we're taking our data that it might be in the air longer than we anticipated."

The chase for the thrill came three months after the Chi-Hi balloon club was formed.

Letendre said, "My favorite part about this is being part of something and accomplishing something. And you don't really have a lot of opportunities in school unless you're in sports, to do that."

Classroom lessons about the laws of science made the voyage worthwhile.

Gagnon said, "What we're doing in class is they're using forces, buoyancy, gases and fluids behave similarly, so we've talked about gas laws for the lift portion of it."

Gale Sorum, a contributor to the balloon club, said, "You know, it's the enthusiasm of the students once you expose them to some of the attention to detail, things like, 'Good enough don't count', 'It's either right or not', and it's amazing how they respond to that and rise to the occasion."

The Chippewa Falls High Altitude Balloon Club launched the balloon shortly after 7:30 am and recovered it 2 ½ hours later. It traveled about 85,000 feet into the air; that's nearly 16 miles. The balloon landed about 120 miles away from Eau Claire in Adams County.

To view aerial footage of the balloon flight, click here for take-off, during the travel and descending down to Earth. (Courtesy of the Chippewa Falls High Altitude Balloon Club).

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WQOW. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's pubic inspection file should contact News Director Dan Schillinger at 715-852-5920. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at