Buy a $69 weather balloon, a styrofoam cooler, a digital camera and it’s possible to take pictures from the reaches of space above the Earth. That’s what a group of engineering high school students did recently from Oakland’s Youth Radio, capturing over 800 images from altitude of almost 90,000 feet, including this spectacular one of the Bay Area:
The simple ingeniousness of a project like this allows young people to explore in ways that were previously reserved meteorologists and other scientists. But according to Neil deGrasse Tyson, who has been an outspoken critic of our country’s divestment in space exploration, science projects can also help inspire adults– especially those who are non-scientists. Projects like these also help keep our eyes toward progressively bigger projects, such as our exploration of Mars, which has reaped tremendous benefits for the scientific community.