For the second straight year, Stephen Lys' Peacock Collegiate Science class released a weather balloon from the school. 

A big crowd of students, teachers and other onlookers gathered in front of the Moose Jaw high school to watch the event unfold just after 8:30 Friday morning. 

Lys says the balloon, which lifted up a platform with GPS and a GoPro video camera, is an excellent way to teach weather. 

"You can see a lot of things we learn about in class," said Lys. "How temperature changes as you go up in the stratosphere (and) we can measure the wind speed and the jet stream."

Lys says that he incorporates a contest into the experiment, giving out prizes to the students that can best guess the balloon's ultimate destination. He likened the contest to sports betting, where anyone could conceivablly get lucky, but those that do their "homework" will make better, educated guesses.

"We had kids that were looking at weather patterns, what the jet stream is going to be doing today as opposed to yesterday. They used that to figure out what direction it's going to go, how long it's going to be in the air (and) how far it's going to travel." swansonslookingatballoonPrincipal Dustin Swanson brought his son Chris to watch the event

Lys was hoping for a better performance from the balloon than the inaugural flight in 2016.  

"Last year we got to 70,000 feet (and) two hours in the air," he said. "We were hoping for higher than that but if it goes much longer than three hours then the GoPro battery runs out. We want to get the landing on tape."

According to the balloon's GPS, it landed near Pinkie Road, about 8km west of Regina, at 12:47 p.m., approximately four hours after takeoff. 

 

 

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