CCSD In the News
When he takes over as the CCIC principal in the fall, Steve Day will focus on maintaining and further the facility's emphasis on connecting students with viable, real-world skills.
CCSD high schools will be getting a million-dollar makeover with new innovation spaces being planned for all six high schools. Schools began to meet with the architects to discuss possibilities for how to support innovation in schools.
The Career and Technical Education (CTE) team at Cherry Creek Schools recently pioneered the use of the software program Salesforce to better manage college and career planning for students.
The award recognizes marketing education teachers who provide outstanding programs for their students and make significant contributions in all phases of marketing education, including class instruction, working with a DECA chapter, supporting work-based learning programs and more.
I Am Innovation
Near Space BallooningBy Keith Harrison
Engineering Physics and Robotics Teacher
Cherry Creek High School
There is something awe inspiring about making a machine that will go somewhere inaccessible to most people on the planet. The simple act of inflating, then letting go of, a thin latex balloon, achieves this feat. Then add a few scientific bells and whistles and you can bring back all kinds of interesting information from the balloon's journey to near space.
I teach Engineering Physics at Cherry Creek High School. This course involves a lot of building, testing, and lab work, so when I learned about the opportunity to fly a weather balloon with a student-designed payload, I jumped at the chance. It has since become one of the highlights of my students' year.
The fascination with space tends to take hold on the day of the launch, when students finally see their hard work accelerate into the sky. Weeks before the launch, the project is engaging for its ability to bring an entire class together for a single goal. Although the entire project can, if necessary, be conducted by as few as four or five students, it can also be designed to involve a typical class of up to thirty. I establish teams to install and operate cameras, design and build electronic circuits with sensors (usually with Arduino), learn and rehearse launch day procedures, retrieve the payload once it's landed (this is a favorite), and analyze and present data after the flight.
Weather balloon projects allow students to learn and practice engineering skills in the context of an authentic enterprise that takes place in their own neighborhood and community. Information obtained from the payload can be shared with the rest of the school to enrich lessons in geography, physics, chemistry, and environmental science.
All in all, this is an excellent opportunity for student learning and engagement. Even the sky, in this case, is not the limit!