Summer School 2014

" If America is to maintain our high standard of living, we must continue to innovate.  We are competing with nations many times our size.  We don't have a single brain to waste.  Math and science are the engines of innovation.  With these engines we can lead the world.  We must demystify math and science so that all students feel the joy that follows understanding." 

Dr. Micheal Brown, Director of the Jonsson Center for Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas Texas


Update Jan 6, 2015
Back on July 29, 2014, we conducted a test flight with our RvJet.  We had a structural failure and separation of the Canopy.  The canopy, a mobius camera, and a GPS antenna went for a ride to near space still attached to the weather balloon.  Later that summer a couple from Oak Brook Illinois found our lost equipment.  Here is what the video contained.  ( skip to 3:40 minute mark in the video to see the recovered footage)


Project facts
Launch Date August 11, 2014 at 11:00am
Weight of our payload = 2210g or 4.87 lbs
Weight of our Balloon = 1500g
Positive Buoyancy = (Weight of our Payload * .3) = 663g or 1.46 lbs
Total Lift required = Weight of our payload (2210g) + Weight of our Balloon (1500g) + Positive Buoyancy (663g)= 4373g
Total Helium Required = 4373g * .035 = 153cuft of helium
Our milk jug should weigh: weight of our payload (2210g) + Positive Buoyancy (663g) = 2873g

With the above information our balloon with the payload ascended at an average rate of 825ft/min or 13.75ft/sec or 251.46m/min or 4.19m/sec
The balloon burst at 99,469ft at 2:17:50, 15.23 miles down range to the eastnortheast of the launch location
Maximum range was just under 26 miles or an LOS of 28 miles
0 ft (Reference for launch site) Launch at time 00:17:00
64,000ft at 01:31:39 we reached our maximum range of 26 miles, the balloon then began to turn to the west.
99,469ft at 2:17:50,  15.23 miles away from launch site
2 hours until burst
49,711ft at 2:23:47,  15.12 miles away from launch site (position 42.6184N 88.0609W)
14,134ft at 2:27:05,  16.2 miles away from launch site (position 42.6184N 88.0291W)
12,762ft at 2:27:10,  16.64 miles away from launch site (this was our last video signal) (position 42.6245N 88.0251W)
Average descent rate from 99,469ft to 12,762ft.....155ft/sec or 9280ft/min or 557,402ft/hour or 105 mph

Here is the 12 minute movie about the project.

Equipment used
Aircraft and Systems
RvJet: 1.95 meter (76.7") wing span, 601mm (24") from nose to tail
Power system : 65a esc, 1200kv Brushless motor
Batteries. Lectron Pro Lipo, 35c, 11.1v 2700mAh batteries in series to give us 11.1v 5400mAh power supply

Aircraft Control Systems
Drgaonlink long range system
Dragon link Receiver 

FPV system
DragonLabs OSD v2
Torrid filter installed at the connection to the Transmitter
powered by 12 volt power pack (energizer ultimate lithium batteries)
1.3ghz skew-planar antenna on the airplane RHCP (made by Video Areial systems)
Video Transmitter: 1.3ghz 1000mw made by Readymade RC
1.3ghz low pass filter made by Readymade RC

GPS antenna
Copernicus II chip and electronis supplied by Bill at Elktronics 

Helium provided by City Welding in Skokie IL

Helium balloon provided by Kaymont balloons (1500g balloon)

Ground station
1.3ghz pepperbox antenna by Video Aerial Systems
1.3ghz skew-planar antenna
1.3ghz Video Receiver with SAW upgrade Version 3 by Readymade RC

The Prediction Web-site

Winds Aloft

Local Weather

July 29, 2014
Well here was our first attempt.


July 23, 2014 :The kids are well on their way.
We have just about got the airplane built.  A couple of minor issues to work on and we will be ready for our first trial run on Tuesday, July 29 at 9:00 am at Thelen Park.

Our summer school team 2014
The name of our project is "Humpty Dumpty"






The program has changed slightly....We are only going to attempt the RC airplane Drop.
The program has been shortened to 5 weeks.  We will start the July 8th and go through August 6th.

Enrollment form is at the bottom of this page. The number one question that I am getting is "My son/daughter will miss a couple of the summer school dates, can they still sign up?"  Yes, it is no problem at all.  Missing 1,2, or even 3 dates is fine.  Kids will be placed on teams, and their team members will fill in for missing team members.

Conceptual video of one of the two projects we will be working one. 

About the program.


STEM+C Summer Program

This program is a 5 week course.  We will meet from 9:00am to 11:00am, twice a week at the Nippersink Middle School on the following dates in July and August.  We will meet in July every Tuesday and Wednesday.  The meeting dates in July are as follows : July 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd, 29th, 30th, August 5th and 6th.   We will anticipate launching our project sometime the first or second week of August.  Kids will also informally meet at Theilen Park to fly their RC airplanes throughout the summer.  I will supply 2 trainer aircraft for the kids.  Learning to fly their RC airplanes is a course requirement in order to be one of the “Shuttle Pilots” for one of our projects.

The scope of this program is to keep your student’s mind engaged over the summer in using Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Creativity to problem solve.  We will be taking on 2 major projects.  Our  project will be to release an RC airplane from a Near Space Balloon at 100,000ft and then remotely fly the airplane back to a designated landing spot.   This is a highly technical and sophisticated project.  I will lead the students throughthis project.  There is no guarantee of success, which is the beauty of the program.  Throughout the program the students will be encouraged to learn from trying and making mistakes.

This is designed to be a FUN learning experience for the students.  The program will give your student the opportunity to learn without realizing that they are learning.  Here are just some of the topics that will be covered:  Introduction to aerodynamics, atmospheric study, meteorology, physics of flight, basic antenna theory and the electromagnetic spectrum, basic electrical theory, basic physics, basic chemistry.  Your student will learn how to work and problem solve within a team environment.  During the course your student will build and fly RC airplanes.  This will be a fun and challenging program for the student who loves exploring science and technology.  For more detailed information visit and click on the “Summer School 2014” link.

Sign up can be done at the Village of Spring Grove or scroll down to enroll online.

Course Fees…..$250

Registration…. Open April 15th through June 20th.

Maximum course enrollment…..30 students

Minimum course enrollment… 20 students

Location…..Nippersink Middle School

Eligibility….As of fall 2014 your student must be going into 5th, through 12th grade

What is included:  workbook, and all electronics and equipment for our projects. 

What your student needs to have for this course……

·         (1) 1” 3 ring binder, engineering paper will be provided

·         Calculator

·         12” ruler

·         A great attitude, ready to learn and have fun.

Exact details will be given after enrollment.  Check the web-site as well for updates.

Questions call Paul Kaup at 708 359 5289 or email me at