In part under the generous support of the NASA Oregon Space Grant Consortium, PSU Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering offers a Jr./Sr. level design course to scheme, design, build and launch such balloon payloads. It is formally called ME406 LaunchPSU (LPSU) and can be taken for up to 4 credits. There are certainly technical course requirements, but this is fun enough that we conduct launches for other educational institutions, and plenty of non-engineering, even non-PSU, people have become involved. This site gives a fair overview of what we have accomplished to date...Some LPSU launch data is attached below.
We've been doing this since 2004 following a summer workshop on the subject and you are certainly welcome to learn more by contacting us--especially K12 teachers interested in a little geeky, sciency hands on activity that doesn't cost that much and can't fail to educate. Everybody learns something about our world in these projects. Maybe these pages will give you an idea of what I mean...
|LPSU Historical Data as of Aug 2009.pdf||185.51 KB|