Catawba Valley Community College students recently competed in the NASA/NC Space Grant Community College High Altitude Ballooning Team Challenge and Competition and won the Team Work Award.
Six community college teams competed by constructing and assembling a high altitude weather balloon with a payload that included a camera. Teams tracked and recovered their payloads. Data collected from the upper atmosphere was analyzed and photos and videos were taken from the edge of space.
The competition focuses on high-altitude ballooning as a way to give students hands-on experiential learning. The goal is to equip the future workforce of North Carolina with a STEM-based education and skill set.
“This competition is such a great experience for our students to develop marketable, real-world skills, including teamwork and project management,” said Jim Thomas, Engineering Technologies department head.
CVCC team members came from a broad range of engineering, science, and engineering technology programs. Students enrolled in Mechanical Engineering Technology, Mechatronics Engineering Technology, Electronics/Computer Engineering Technology, the Associates in Science, and Challenger High School were represented on the team. All of them are members of the Engineering Club.