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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Eleven freshman Honors students traveled with Dr. Ray Bloomer, professor of Physics
and Astronomy and associate dean for Arts and Sciences, to Trevecca Nazarene University
in Nashville on Nov. 13, as part of a Science Seminar class project, where they attempted
to launch their payload into space.
Dr. Bloomer describes the process as the event took place. “Our students were ready
and organized leading up to the count down. Everything went well until the computers
at the launch site told us the balloon has leveled off about 20,000 feet, far below
what we had thought we would achieve. Thus our experiments were not in the region
of the atmosphere where we wanted to see the effects of near space. We think the balloon may have been defective or a valve may have been left open
and the helium leaked out, thus limiting the lift into the air. We will be analyzing
data over the next week or so.
“We have been invited back in the spring for another try,” continued Dr. Bloomer.
“This was a great learning experience for our students. They saw how hard it is to
create meaningful experiments, then to build and manage a space flight. We obtained
great video on the way up. We also probably received data on the temperature inside
our payload, the accelerations it underwent on the way up, the strength of the magnetic
field it experienced, and maybe some indication of the effects on a bacteria that
Original Article - Freshman Honors Program Students to Launch Project into Space
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Freshman Honors students will soon see all their hard work from
the semester come full circle. At the beginning of the fall 2012 semester, freshman
Honors students were enrolled in a freshman Science Seminar class. This fall semester
was the first time that the one-hour project based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering,
and Mathematics) course was offered for freshman Honors students.
“The Science Seminar allows freshman Honors students the opportunity to become more
engaged in the field of science and to have the opportunity to become more practical
students,” said Dr. Raymond Bloomer, professor of Physics and Astronomy and associate
dean for Arts and Sciences. “All of the students enrolled in the class have a strong
interest in one of the STEM areas.
This semester, the eleven member class has been constructing a full model payload.
The self-constructed payload model has been constructed from various scientific parts
and instruments, which allow it to be launched into space. The students will have
the opportunity to launch the model into space as they take the payload model to Trevecca
Nazarene University in Nashville on Nov. 13. King students will join other colleges
and professionals within the science field during the model launch as well.
Trevecca Nazarene launches a high altitude scientific object on a yearly basis through
their Science and Mathematics Department. This year their team will launch a high
altitude payload object that will travel into space. The payloads are expected to
reach 100,000 feet and will provide information on what is in the atmosphere.
“My son-in-law and daughter were in a Bible study group with a Physics professor at
Trevecca,” said Bloomer. “After learning of their yearly launch project and realizing
a balloon launch might be an appropriate project for honors STEM students, I attended
a national conference held at Trevecca in June of 2012. I learned a great deal and
asked them if we could “hitch a ride” to the stratosphere and they agreed.
“After Trevecca asked us to join them in the launch, we couldn’t pass the opportunity
up,” continued Bloomer. “Seeing the students receive the opportunity to launch their
payload into space and view through a camera installed on the object how far it will
travel is remarkable,” Bloomer said. “This is truly a hands-on experience our freshman
students are receiving and I feel it speaks highly on the academic principles for
which King College is known.”
The students have become connected to the model and are proud of the progress they
have seen throughout the semester. “As someone who wants to work in the science field,
being able to immerse myself in a seminar-based class with other various science majors
is fun,” said freshman Austin Patrick.
King College is a Presbyterian, master’s-level comprehensive college structured on
a university model. King offers more than 90 majors, minors and pre-professional
degrees and concentration in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health
sciences, pharmacy, digital media, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are
offered in business administration, education, and nursing. For more information visit
www.king.edu, call 800.362.0014, or email email@example.com.