Local science project winds up on top of the world - FOX Carolina 21

Local science project winds up on top of the world

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CHANDLER, AZ (CBS5) -

How many 15-year-olds do you know that are doing science projects "near space?"

"Most students, for science fair, it's just one more thing to do, one more homework assignment, and I think that students should take it to the next level, and find something they're passionate about," said Hamilton High sophomore Elliot Smith.

Smith's "high altitude balloon" carried a mini-computer, a camera and other upper-air instruments. The purpose of the experiment was to see if she could predict the balloon's trajectory, based on winds aloft forecast data. While on the way up to 92,000 feet, some amazing pictures were captured high above Maricopa County.

"Because free flowing objects, their path is determined by the wind speed and direction, you could then use that to predict the spreading of a pollution, say like an explosion at a plant, or a fire," added Smith.

Arizona Near Space Research (ANSR) is a local organization that helps students like Smith launch and track these research balloons.

"The students will put together experiments and payloads that they want to test out, then we'll help them organize the flight and man the logistics of getting those payloads up into near space," said Bryson Hinton with ANSR.

For some teens, having fun is hanging out at the mall, but this young lady would rather work on her next project.

"It's not really a battle between having fun, or having fun with science," joked Smith.

For more information on Arizona Near Space Research, CLICK HERE.

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