A few of the students from one of the schools that has already launched, Epsom College, has kindly prepared a short blog post talking about their efforts:
"Scrutineers from MOD Boscombe Down in Wiltshire visited Epsom this week to witness the launch of the College's first entry in the Boscombe Down Balloon Challenge. A STEM outreach event, the Boscombe Down Balloon Challenge has been organised by the Boscombe Down Branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society to celebrate the society's 150th Anniversary. It is open to all schools to enter and seeks to challenge students in a field that is not normally available to them. The main objectives are the development of a telemetry unit and selection of a balloon to try and achieve any, or all, of three goals: The highest altitude; the furthest distance from launch; and the longest flight duration.
Given the strong wind and weather conditions, the College's first entry was for the distance category. The high pressure foil balloon was launched on Epsom Downs on Tuesday by 6th formers Thomas Grealis, Darren McGaghey, Aiden Finlay and Pavel Dokazov with the Boscombe Down scrutineers on hand to ensure that the College team adhered to the comprehensive set of rules that govern the challenge. The team managed to track the flight of the balloon 224.64 kilometres from Epsom to its landing point in the North Sea. Having posted the flight plan on habhub.org, people from around the country and in the Netherlands helped to track the balloon as the line of sight from Epsom Downs was lost."
Well done Epsom College!
If any other schools would like to post here on their efforts then please contact myself via the team email address or your STEM ambassador.