The midway was nearby. But for some, one of the most exciting rides at the Iowa State Fair was had by various fair foods aboard a balloon launched by an Iowa State University team to give youngsters a close-up look at science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.
The Department of Aerospace Engineering’s Make to Innovate (M:2:I) program, the Iowa Space Grant Consortium, along with ISU Extension and Outreach and the Stratospheric Ballooning Association, teamed up to make the flight possible. It utilized one of M:2:I’s HABET (High Altitude Balloon Experiments in Technology) balloons, which carried a payload of a corn dog, cheese curds and a chocolate chip cookie.
Youngsters taking part made predictions about what would happen to the various food items as the balloon gained altitude into much colder temperatures, and about where they thought the balloon would land (it came down near DeSoto, west of Des Moines, after bursting).
Read more about the events of the day and how it engaged young science lovers in a story posted by Iowa Public Radio.