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Buffy Sexton

Carried experiments to the edge of space in a high-altitude weather balloon

2018 STEM Scholar
Louisville, KY Meyzeek Middle School

Buffy’s Big Idea: In “The Edge of Space,” Buffy’s students assumed the role of scientists or engineers who planned, designed and created experiments that were carried to the edge of space in a high-altitude weather balloon. The experiment included, for example, a 3D-printed design, a piece of technology, or something biological. Students collected real-time data as the balloon ascended to approximately 100,000 feet, burst and then descended. After retrieving the payload, students analyzed the effects of atmospheric temperature and pressure on their experiments.

Interesting Facts: In 2007 Buffy attended the Honeywell Educators Space Academy at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. As part of the experience, Buffy received classroom and laboratory instruction focused on science, space exploration and leadership skills development, and she participated in astronaut-style exercises such as high-performance jet simulation, water survival training and interactive flight dynamics programs.