Tech teams up with NASA


Eddie Bednarek

The tech team practices a tethered launch in preparation for the Aug. 21 balloon launch.

By Eddie Bednarek

[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”16″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_thumbnails” override_thumbnail_settings=”0″ thumbnail_width=”100″ thumbnail_height=”75″ thumbnail_crop=”1″ images_per_page=”20″ number_of_columns=”0″ ajax_pagination=”0″ show_all_in_lightbox=”0″ use_imagebrowser_effect=”0″ show_slideshow_link=”1″ slideshow_link_text=”[Show as slideshow]” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]The Tigard High Tech team will be collaborating with NASA for the Eclipse Ballooning Project to fly a balloon during the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.

The team will be providing photos and video of the state as the eclipse is happening. “Once we actually get to altitude,as the umbra of the eclipse passes over the state of Oregon, we will see the shadow,” head coach Steve Fulton said. “That will then be sent down to our ground station, who is hooked up to our friends at NASA who’s going to be doing a live stream simultaneously. So you will actually be able to watch the eclipse from space as it crosses the entire continental United States.”

They will be collaborating with other robotics teams across the entire United States to provide complete, uninterrupted coverage of the eclipse. Most of these are college teams. Tigard is one of six high schools to be involved with the project. “There are 70 teams nationwide that will be covering the distance from Lincoln City all the way to Charleston, South Carolina. The vast majority of those are universities and colleges. There are six high schools nationwide that are participating. Three are in Oregon and Tigard is one of them,” Fulton said.

The opportunity to collaborate with NASA is a rare privilege for a high school. “This is basically a one time chance to be involved with NASA so it is really important for us and this project to spread the word of what THS technology is made of,” senior tech team member Leon Nguyen said.

This is a special and unique opportunity for students as they are applying the skills they have learned in school to a once in a lifetime chance to do some real science. “We are applying our science. We have physics, we have astronomy, we have math… It’ll be an experience that all of our people will be able to talk about for years to come,” Fulton said.