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Greensboro middle school students get hands-on meteorology lesson with weather balloon

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It is hands-on learning at its best and the culmination of months of work. The Meteorology Club at Kiser Middle School launched a weather balloon containing science experiments.

"When we are talking about sending this balloon up, we are covering just about everything we have talked about since the beginning of the year," said science teacher Aimee Perry.

The Tigernauts, that's a mixture of an amateur astronaut and a Kiser Middle School Tiger, are launching the biggest science experiment of their middle school career. But before it goes up, the students got a chance to sign their work.

"I felt when I was writing my name that at least some aspect of me was going up into space cause not everyone gets the chance of going all the way up there," said eighth-grader Anya Valdez. "So a little aspect of me going up there is just the little satisfaction that people need to feel like they've done something."

This is the second year the Meteorology Club at the school has launched a weather balloon to conduct science experiments. Teachers say there no better way to learn.

Once the balloon is up, up and away, the students move inside to their mission control. There they track the height and the speed of the balloon. But it's what the balloon is carrying that really has their interest.

"On the arm that we had, it had ocean water and tap water, just to see how the different waters would be affected and they had thermometers in them," said Valdez.

Pictures from the cameras on the balloon show amazing sights and what happened to the water as it traveled through the levels of the atmosphere. After the balloon popped and it started to come back down, the question of where would it land took over.

"I thought it was going to land in Jordan Lake, but then after time we saw that it was going by Jordan Lake," said seventh-grader Michael Ramirez.

It finally landed in some trees near Apex. The chase crew was able to retrieve it and bring it back so the students can study all of the data the cameras and onboard computer collected.

This is one science lesson both students and teachers say they will never forget.

"It's the best kind of learning!! It is the best real-world experience they could ever have," Perry said.