BY FREDA MIKLINSTAFF WRITER
When Colorado Skies Academy (CSA) opened in August on the grounds of Centennial Airport, it became the first middle school in the United States that is fully contained in an operating airport. The Cherry Creek School District (CCSD) charter school’s focus is on aviation and aerospace.
On Nov. 6, the sixth-grade class and their teachers launched a high-altitude scientific balloon carrying student science experiments, GPS trackers, weather sensors, and video cameras. Students had to get permission from the Federal Aviation Authority to launch the balloon.
Before the launch, as 6th graders milled around the Blue Sky Gallery at Wings Over the Rockies at Centennial Airport, waiting for the wind to blow favorably, we talked to several students who were wearing placards around their necks that invited visitors to get information about the project from them.
Zeke Jenkins explained to us that meteorology only sounded like it had to do with meteors, but was really about weather. He also described the instrumentation involved with the balloon.
Micah Fleming told us that his group had to decide what to use to answer the question, “How does altitude affect the soil and plant growth?” They voted on lettuce seeds, so that’s what was being sent up in the balloon.
Kirl Kapantso’s placard said, “Ask me about Visualization Strategy.” We did. He explained that it was a process in which students used their imagination and
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