Mukwonago weather balloon project a splashing success

Lake Country Now: Eagleville Elementary’s Nucleus Science Club launched a weather balloon of their own creation on June 2, in front of the Eagleville student body, parents and Mukwonago Area School District Superintendent Shawn McNulty.

Dan and Christine Pawlak, Eagleville parents and founders of the after school science activity club, worked with Eagleville students for months on preparing and planning this project. On that clear, sunny morning, the weather balloon rose quickly into the sky carrying several types of cameras and computer tracking cargo.

The balloon traveled at incredible speed, crossing over 75 miles of southeastern Wisconsin while reaching an astounding height of almost 100,000 feet, according to Eagleville teacher Cathy Selzer-Benavides. Eventually, the balloon burst and the device landed safely in Lake Michigan where it was retrieved by the Milwaukee Police Harbor Patrol.

“Eagleville’s Nucleus high altitude balloon project was an amazing success,” said the Pawlaks in a letter to Eagleville families. “We captured the entire flight on high definition video and portions of the flight on a student customized infrared camera. We also collected thousands of scientifically relevant bits of atmospheric data over the course of the flight that are sure to prove valuable for future educational projects at Eagleville.”

Dan and Christine Pawlak were able to present video footage from the weather balloon’s cameras to Eagleville’s students and families, as well as sharing with students attending Eagleville’s E3 summer school session.

“The video and data it brought back with is nothing short of breathtaking,” said Selzer-Benavides in an email.

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