HAB2 Successfully Launched and Recovered

Science Heads successfully launched its second High Altitude Balloon (HAB2) on Saturday, November 10th, 2018.  It carried six (6) student designed experiments.

The balloon and its payload reached an altitude of approximately 15 miles (80,000 feet).  We successfully recovered the payload from a wilderness area near Aguanga California.  The experiments were returned to the students and they analyzed their data.  The students’ papers summarizing their results are listed below.:

Thank you to all of the volunteers who made this possible.  Our RCOM, WCOM, LOPS and FOPS teams put in many hours and we greatly appreciate their efforts.

A special thank you to our sponsors: Praxair, SOARA, the City of Lake Forest and OC Drone Photography – who produced the short video above.

And thank you for supporting Science Heads and STEM education.

Student Papers:

HAB2 Launch Site Selected – You Are Invited to Watch the Launch!

Science Heads Inc. is pleased to announce that its next High Altitude Balloon – HAB 2 – will be launched on Saturday, November 10th, 2018 from the City of Lake Forest Sports Park & Recreation Center.  The viewing site will be open to the public starting at 9:30 am.  The launch is planned to occur at 11:00 am.

The center’s public facilities will be open.  Bring your own folding chairs, food and refreshments.  Some shaded seating will be available.

The Sports Park is located at 28000 Rancho Parkway, Lake Forest CA.   Directions are available from: http://lfsportspark.com/722/Address-Directions

Science Heads’ HAB launches are Free and Open to the public.  Join us for this exciting family oriented STEM educational event.  Watch as we launch the large weather balloon to the upper atmosphere (~ 20 miles in altitude) .   Learn about the experiments that were designed and built by local students.   And monitor the progress of our expert recovery teams as they track the payload and attempt to return the experiments back to the students.

This page will be regularly updated with launch, weather and recovery information.  Please check this page often for updated information.

Current Weather Prediction:

Weather.com forecasts a partly-cloudy day, with a high temperature of 67F, and winds from the SW at 8 mph. Wunderground.com does not have a forecast past November 9th at this point.

Current Landing Site Prediction:

Landing predictions show highest probability between Fallbrook and Wintermute, north and east of Camp Pendleton.

Update Notes:

Next WCOM update will be on Day Minus 10, after sending our launch plan to SoCal TRACON (FAA).

Flight Path Prediction:

Landing Zone Heat Map:

HAB2 Experiments Selected

Science Heads is pleased to announce the experiments selected from the proposals submitted by local students. Congratulations to the winning teams and all of the students who participated!

HAB2 Experiments:

1. The Effects of Radiation on Mold. School: Irvine High School, Teacher: Ms. Archana Jain

2. Efficacy of Open Source Hardware for Analysis of VOCs Below and At 100,000 feet altitude.  School: Irvine High School, Teacher: Ms. Archana Jain

3. Effect of Cosmic Radiation Exposure on Undeveloped Film.  School: Irvine High School, Teacher: Ms. Archana Jain

4. The Effect of Ultrathin Shielding on Solar Radiation.  School: Irvine High School, Teacher: Ms. Archana Jain

5. Extreme Condition Seed Survival.  School: Irvine High School, Teacher: Ms. Archana Jain

6. Proof of a Round Earth.  School: Irvine High School, Teacher: Ms. Archana Jain

High Altitude Balloon (HAB) 2 is scheduled to be launched on November 10, 2018*.  The launch site will be announced soon.  Launches are free and open to the public.  Join us on November 10th to watch this exciting event, cheer on the students and show support for STEM education.

* Weather and other factors may require a change in the launch date.  Please check this web site regularly for updates and additional details.

Science Showtime at Golden West College

Science Heads appeared for the second time at Science Showtime, held at Golden West College in Huntington Beach. The event was on September 28th, and drew a big crowd as it had the previous year.

This time, Science Heads brought the Mobile Observatory to the middle of the campus. The event ran from 5pm to 8pm, which didn’t give an opportunity for viewing either the sun or night sky, but we had a great time talking about the solar system, and answering a lot of really good questions about space!

Our next public event will take us to Spooktacular at the Great Park in Irvine, October 13th and 14th. We hope to see you there!

Call for Student Experiments for November HAB Launch

Science Heads has tentatively scheduled it’s next High Altitude Balloon (HAB) launch for Saturday, November 10th, 2018.

All Middle School and High School students from Orange County, California are invited to submit proposals for experiments to be included in the payload.  Proposals must be in the format described in the Experiment Submission Guide Lines Document.  If interested you may request this document by sending an email to Richard@scienceheads.org.  Proposals are due by 5 pm PT on October 12th, 2018.

Science Heads’ HAB launches are open to the public.  Please visit this site again for an announcement of the location and time for the launch.



Inspiring Young Minds from the Edge of Space

On Saturday, April 21st, Science Heads launched it’s first High Altitude Balloon. In the payload were 5 student experiments from local schools. The balloon and payload reached the edge of space (approximately 109,000 feet or 20.6 miles in altitude) and landed in the inland empire.

Below are  videos produced using footage from the on-board camera.

We are planning to launch two more HABs during the next school year. Stay tuned for details.

Since Science Heads is entirely funded through donations – it’s support from people like you that make it possible for us to inspire students and adults with projects like our HAB program.

Thank you for supporting Science Heads,

Richard Stember
Executive Director
Science Heads Inc.

HAB Launch – Part 1

HAB Launch – Part 2

HAB Brochure (PDF):  

Volunteer Organizating Meeting September 23rd

Science Heads needs volunteers for its 2018/19 program!  We need your help supporting STEM education in our local schools and raising science literacy in our community.

This is a great opportunity to have fun and make a real difference.  We invite you to attend our Volunteer Organizational Meeting.

When: Sunday, September 23rd ,  10:30 am – 12 Noon

WhereLake Forest Sports Park Recreation Center
(28000 Rancho Parkway, Lake Forest)

Below are just a few of the ways that you can get involved.  Even if you can spare just 2 hours once a month we would love to see you at this meeting.

Science Heads 2018 Program

  • Science Outreach Events
  • Mobile Observatory
  • High Altitude Balloon / Student Experiment Launch
  • Web Site / Social Media Development
  • Fund Raising
  • Newsletter
  • Public Relations

Please click to RSVP via email and take the opportunity to learn how you can inspire and educate.

Best wishes for the New Year!

Richard Stember
Executive Director
Science Heads Inc.
Volunteer NASA Solar System Ambassador

Astronomy Night at the Lake Forest Sports Park

The City of Lake Forest held an Astronomy Night at the Sports Park, and Science Heads was there!

We brought a bunch of new astronomy-related science stations, including Eclipse on the Wall (see how eclipses happen), Twinkle Stars (why do stars twinkle?), Sunset in a Glass Dish (why does the sky turn red at sunset?), Pie Plate Solar System (can you make the Earth orbit the Sun?), and a revised Constellation Identification station (how many do you know?). Plus there were several favorites, like Glow in the House (everyday materials that glow under “black”light) and Relative Sun Size (Sun and planet sizes to scale).

Of course, we also had the mobile observatory and plenty of telescopes. None of the more familiar planets were up for the night (Saturn had set just after the Sun), but Richard was able to treat participants to view of Uranus as a ghostly blue dot in space. Our other telescopes were pointed at individual stars like Capella and Sirius, or star clusters like the Pleiades. Meanwhile, Brad showed off our outdoor display setup with Eyes on the Solar System.

We had a great turnout, and a lot of fun. We hope that the City of Lake Forest will continue these events.

Science Heads Are Spooky at Montevideo Elementary

Our Spooky Science program continues, this time at Montevideo Elementary School.

A great crowd turned out to see this event, our first time at Montevideo. The sky was cloudy, so we concentrated on the Mobile Observatory software, and all of our new spooky science stations.

The glowing stations outside were a big hit as always, and inside, the screaming cups and screaming balloons, spider sense webs, optical illusions, take-home experiments, and solar system size display were very popular. In the front of the school, our big, hands-on lever station got a lot of use, with students able to lift 70 pounds with one hand.

Thank you to our great volunteers for making this an amazing night out!