This week was the first of our Explore weeks, and was focused on Explore: Social — including social media, websites, and other forms of online outreach. Our goal was to discuss what has been done, what we could do, and what we should do as we move forward with our plans to Launch the Torch! The students learned about many different type of social media, practiced making a blog site in WordPress, and started sharing their findings on Google Docs. In particular, they started to collect links to details about launching cameras into space on weather balloons, with their research serving as the basis for the Resources page on this website.
The students were randomly divided into five groups of five students each, and by the end of the week, the students handed in detailed notes (the attached image shows a sample page of notes) with the results of their research, and explaining how they’d like to document and disseminate information online about our class project. In particular, we decided to use the #launchthetorch hashtag to document our activities online.
In addition, we visited the National Weather Service here in Tallahassee — one of nearly 200 sites in the continental U.S. that launches two weather balloons per day — where we were kindly allowed to watch a weather balloon launch. The NWS was very helpful in answering our questions about preparing for launching a weather balloon, and offered a number of valuable suggestions for making sure our launch would be a success!