Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's an egg with a funny face attached to a balloon.
It's also known as the annual science experiment at Key Peninsula Middle School.
"We took an egg, drew a crazy face on it, and launched it with a simple thermometer. We like to keep kids engaged,” said Richard Miller, the science teacher behind this experiment.
Last week, Miller’s class launched the egg along with a large balloon and big tank of helium.
"The balloon went 96,148 feet. It is at the virtual edge of space," said Miller, who called it the world’s highest egg drop.
It’s also known as a high-altitude weather balloon launch, measuring the temperature of varying atmospheric layers. Miller said they will use temperature measurements to understand our atmosphere.
"We can explain the different effects of ultramagnetic radiation on heating the earth,” he said. “We can tie it into global warming. We can tie it into a lot of basic concepts that need to be explained in middle school science classes.”
For students, the coolest part for them is that they’re part of the process.
"It was pretty quick,” eighth-grader Wyatt Martin said, describing the launch. “It went up there fast and went into the clouds somewhere. That was really quick."
Grace Nesbit and other students programed the GPS for the balloon.
"It's kind of like breathtaking, because once you see it you don't really know what it is, and then you're like, I worked on that. It's a really cool feeling," she said.
Miller said it took about an hour to make up it 18 miles. Eventually the balloon popped, and the egg with the funny face floated down in once piece to a Tacoma back yard.
The experiment, students say, was an unforgettable success.
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