WZZM 13's Chief Meteorologist George Lessens to take part in local Weather Balloon Launch Lesson

2:12 PM, May 10, 2011   |    comments
George Lessens
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WZZM 13's Chief Meteorologist George Lessens to take part in local Weather Balloon Launch Lesson

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - WZZM 13, the Grand Rapids ABC affiliate owned by Gannett Co., Inc., announces that Chief Meteorologist George Lessens will be at Mary A. White Elementary School in Grand Haven, MI at 9:30 AM, EST to work with students on a weather balloon launch. Two fourth grade students at the school have been working on a science project at home, but word has since spread and now an entire grade school is on board to witness the launch this week Thursday, May 12th around 10:00 AM.

Brian and Tyler Harms wondered what would happen if they launched a weather balloon with a camera inside. "We are naming our weather balloon the MAW Voyager (Mary A. White School) after the initials of our school", says Tyler Harms. "I was paging through an article in a Popular Science magazine and thought it would be a really cool project to do with my school", adds Harms.

The balloon is expected to float high enough into the upper stratosphere where it will pop and return to earth by parachute. The boys shared their theory with their fourth grade Science Teacher, Andrew Ratke who agreed it is a worthy project to study with the entire classroom and school.

The camera will take continues video and will be packed into a Styrofoam cooler with packing peanuts and hand warmers to keep it still and safe into freezing cold air. The young scientists hope to send the apparatus high enough to take video of the curvature of the earth. The experiment also includes a Global Positioning System for tracking upon landing. All the boys need now is a fair weather pattern for a proper launch and they will need to call the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) the day before, to alert them of the launch.

WZZM 13's Chief Meteorologist, George Lessens choose this Thursday morning as a safe launch day and will be on site with the new Weather Chaser Vehicle to help locate the device once it returns to Earth. WZZM 13 will post both the pictures and video on www.wzzm13.com for all to see.

The team is hoping to avoid a water or tall tree landing. If the camera is recovered and the pictures are clear they will be studied in the classroom. The public is invited to witness the launch.
For more information, contact Pam Rankin, Marketing Director at (616) 340-7751 or e-mail at: prankin@wzzm.gannett.com.

About Gannett
Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is an international media and marketing solutions company that informs and engages more than 100 million people every month through its powerful network of broadcast, digital, mobile and publishing properties. Our portfolio of trusted brands offers marketers unmatched local-to-national reach and customizable, innovative marketing solutions across any platform. Gannett is committed to connecting people - and the companies who want to reach them - with their interests and communities. For more information, visit wzzm13.com.

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