The Global Space Balloon Challenge
Over the Easter Long weekend I was asked to participate in the "Global Space Balloon Challenge", and act as the creative director of the project.
http://www.balloonchallenge.org/2If you are not familiar with, "space ballons", the idea is to send up a payload into subspace - about 30km above the ground and capture the views and experience using gopro camera's using a large latex balloon, a whole lot of helium, and a ton of collaboration. The underpinning of this project, holds close to the heart the the 4Ps we have seen in Creative Learning, and is all about project based approaches to learning.
The idea to participate, came from the curiosity of a three year old who asked his dad if his "Astronaut Lightening McQueen" could actually go into space. This curiosity, by most parents would have been answered with a simple no, however our dear friend Ben, hit the internet, asking himself the same question and found a solution with GSBC. Within a week a team of family and close friends was assembled that grew to over 20 participants ranging in age from 8 months to 65 years.
Over a series of sessions, team members brainstormed, tinkered, played, created, envisioned and problem solved collaboratively. Calculations of wind patters, launch locations, and assembly were all co-ordinated, and at the end of April the payload was successfully launched from Exeter, Ontario, and retrieved using GPS. Each team member regardless of age, was given a job title and tasks relating to their own passions and interests in the project.
The results of the mission were captured and can be viewed above.
The launch has connected us to a growing community of makers and I have since decided to reach out to teams to see if any are willing to part with their bust balloons. As I am an artist and educator I hope to turn the burst balloons into a large art piece.
The excitement and spirit of the 4Ps are now spreading into the community, and we plan to launch a second balloon from our local hospital, as a symbolic emblem of their new redevelopment project. We are reaching our local community via social media for artifacts to put inside of our "space capsule", and I am continuing to work on the designs and creatives of this project as it continues to grow, spread and change.
I have been so amazed at how much we have all learned from this process - Science + Math + Art + Physical Education + Language + Geography = Global Space Ballon Challenge.
Team COEX - Launch Site - Exeter, Ontario - Canada
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Video Link - http://youtu.be/iOyZoch_hb42
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***UPDATE - we've since launch a 2nd Balloon to support a local hospital in their fundraising efforts.
This time we added two payloads and two cameras - and since we did not have a choice, we launched in the middle of a storm. The results were some spectacular images I don't think we would have captured otherwise, and we've gotten lots of great press! It's amazing how in such a short time this collaboration has began to not only bring us together but create change in our communities. We now have so many new ideas, and possibilities seem endless. I have the feeling it's just the start of something...)
Here is the second video in case you are interested.
And we made it in MAKE magazine (okay now I'm getting a bit too braggy, but it's exciting stuff)
If you want to follow our journey and see how this project evolves you can follow us on twitter
@cooperativeex or if you have questions drop me a line at email@example.com
(website is coming soon)
*I think I can only post 1 video in the thread so the first one is just a link to the the first launch.