CVCC Hosts April 9 NC Space Grant High Altitude Balloon Payload Competition

NASA NC Space Grant High Altitude Balloon Competition logoCatawba Valley Community College will host the second annual North Carolina Community College High Altitude Balloon Payload Competition sponsored by the NASA funded North Carolina Space Grant on Sat., April 9.

CVCC students from a broad range of engineering, science, and engineering technology programs are involved. Students enrolled in Mechanical Engineering Technology, Mechatronics Engineering Technology, Electronics/Computer Engineering Technology, the Associates in Science, and Challenger High School are represented on the team. All of them are members of the Engineering Club and will compete against nine other teams from North Carolina community colleges.

Beginning at 8 a.m., the 10 teams will be launching their high altitude balloons from the Tarlton Complex at CVCC. Each team is scheduled for launch 15 minutes thereafter.

The project focuses on high-altitude ballooning as an opportunity for hands-on experiential learning. The goal is to equip the future workforce of North Carolina with a STEM-based education and skill set. They build marketable, real-world skills, including teamwork, project management, the design and build process, and effective communication to offer future employers.

Students are the engineers, scientists, and managers for their teams. They will track and recover their payloads in order to analyze data collected from the upper atmosphere and retrieve photos and videos from the edge of space. A panel of experts will judge the teams in categories that include: best payload, team work, highest flight, and best photograph.

For more information about the competition, contact Dr. Doug Knight,  336-909-1711, or dougchar001@gmail.com, or CVCC Engineering Technologies Department Head Jim Thomas, 828-327-7000 ext. 4202, jdthomas@cvcc.edu.