Abstract: Balloon payload projects are an excellent means of engaging college and high school students in a real hands-on activity in science and engineering. The student-designed payloads ascend to near space on weather balloons. Participation in a project of this sort provides an experience that is a microcosm of a NASA mission, and serves to recruit students for the future workforce. The educational approach and curriculum issues will be discussed, along with the practical aspects of running a program of this type.
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