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NMHS Eclipse Team Presents at National Conference

with Angela

NMHS students Sarah Tang, Apoorva Singh and Reyna Kirschel with NASA High Altitude Balloon Project Director Angela De Jardin at the High Altitude Balloon Conference in Minnesota

Nov. 1, 2017

Three members of North Medford High School’s acclaimed High Altitude Balloon Team are celebrating a national award they received at the High Altitude Balloon Conference in Minneapolis, MN, put on, in part, by NASA.

Sarah Tang, Apoorva Singh, and Reyna Kirschel won "Honorable Mention" in the college level poster session that had over 40 entries. Their recognition came with a $250 check.

“Overall it’s been a really fun experience because we’ve been with people who know the science behind an eclipse,” said Kirschel. “They did similar projects and so we could share our experiences and it was really interesting.”

Tang, Singh, and Kirschel were three of an 11-member team at NMHS that practiced and planned for two years to capture the August 21 solar eclipse via high altitude balloon for a partner project with NASA and Montana State University. NMHS was one of only a few high schools across the country to participate alongside colleges and universities.

At the conference, the students presented a poster summarizing their high altitude balloon experience and were able to network with other teams and presenters.

“We really liked receiving feedback to our data,” said Singh. “Some of what we did, we were confused by because we’re a high school team, and it’s great because they were able to give us some answers.”

“It was nice because they struggled with some of the same things we struggled with so that was reassuring we weren’t the only ones to struggle,” said Tang.

The students said the best part of the conference was meeting Dr. Angela De Jardin, director of the NASA High Altitude Balloon Project.

“This was her brain child,” said Kirschel. “And she came up to right away and said ‘I’m so proud of you guys.’ And to hear that from a NASA Astro-Physicist means so much to us.”

The students also noted that they survived blizzard-like conditions during the conference, enjoyed a trip to Mall of America, and explored the University of Minnesota campus.