A group of Tigard students have been preparing for the eclipse for more than a year. That’s because they’re going to be part of a special project NASA is sponsoring.
Jeremy Stephens has already graduated high school. He’s set to start college later this month. But with days leading up to the eclipse, he’s now back at his alma mater working around the clock.
“We’re trying to capture video of the eclipse as it happens, as it progresses from the west coast all the way to east coast,” said Stephens. “It’s never actually been done."
Stephens, along with a small group of other former and current students part of the Tigard High School Technology Team, have been working on the NASA sponsored project for 14 months.
“It’s been a lot of fun to get to do this and experience this and get to say that I’m on a NASA project,” said former student, Grace Harestad-Caudill.
Tigard’s team makes up one of more than 50 across the US that will travel to different points along the totality path to launch an 8-foot balloon about 100,000 feet into the air.
Cameras will be attached to the balloon so they can then live stream online for a huge crowd.
“It will be really cool,” said Grace Harestad-Caudill. “It will be hectic but it will be really cool.”
A GPS will also be on the balloon so after it pops, they can find the equipment.
“It should go really well but in case it doesn’t we’ll have a contingency plan,” said Stephens.
The students have already had plenty of practice launches, they’re now ready for the real deal Monday.
“This is absolutely incredible to be a part of,” said Stephens.
Some of the students went all the way to Montana State to learn how to build and work with the equipment.
Most of the groups participating across the U.S. are college students at universities. Tigard is only one of less than a dozen high schools participating.
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