Pupils’ after school project will soar into the upper atmosphere

Pupils at a Braunton school are preparing to launch a high altitude balloon 30 kilometres up into the earth’s atmosphere.

The Pi, Code and Chips after school club at Caen Community Primary School has been working on a project to design, build and launch pioneering balloon at 10am during the school sports day on Wednesday, June 22.

Under the guidance of trainee teacher Bill Harvey the science club pupils have been putting together the payload for the flight, which will include a raspberry Pi mini computer, cameras and sensors.

Back on earth, a ‘mission control’ of pupils will be monitoring the flight and chase cars will be on hand to follow its GPS tracker and recover the balloon.

Mr Harvey said: “It’s not officially space, but it’s the upper atmosphere. Because of the lack of air pressure the balloon will burst and be brought back down to earth by a parachute.

“The project has been inspired by the Raspberry Pi Foundation and the very brilliant Major Tim Peake who has, amongst other things, taken a Raspberry Pi into space and has done some great work inspiring children to code.”

The flight will depend on the weather and the school has had to apply for permission from the Civil Aviation Authority.

The project will cost up to £600 and has been made possible thanks to fundraising and some kind donations from local people and businesses. It has also been assisted by Appledore and District Radio Club.

Pi, Code and Chips is a club for the ‘STEM’ subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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