The “classic way” is through the booster club! Or rather funding for school project weeks via foundations & funds?
How much does a stratosphere flight cost?
We supply our high-quality and reliable equipment not only to schools in the EU, but worldwide. Especially for the first stratosphere mission as part of a school project week, in normal lessons or as an AG, a lot of equipment is needed as basic equipment. Except for the weather balloon, all components can be reused in subsequent years. Most schools therefore use ours Weather Balloon Kit as basic equipment. The Weather Balloon Kit includes everything you need for a successful mission into the stratosphere apart from the helium/ balloon gas. In the meantime, we accompany schools that carry out their research flights with different objectives for the seventh time in a row and replace the weather balloon and helium/balloon gas once a year for a new research mission and thus launch into the stratosphere with different research focuses every year.
In addition to the weather balloon complete kit, the helium/balloon gas is therefore required. Often the gas for the buoyancy is available in the chemical collection. Alternatively, balloon gas can be obtained most cheaply from Hornbach/ Bauhaus or gas dealers in the region. Furthermore, obtaining the ascent permit and the required aviation third-party liability insurance is associated with costs, here the tutorial with a weather balloon application and useful tips on insurance is always available. The price for both is about 160€ in Germany, in other countries the ascent is usually cheaper. Furthermore, some fuel must be planned for the recovery of the research probe. All in all, depending on the configuration of the complete weather balloon kit as well as helium/balloon gas, ascent permit and insurance, about 750-1000€ have to be planned for the first stratospheric mission. Follow-up missions, as mentioned above, cost significantly less than half, as only the consumables such as weather balloon, gas and fuel need to be replaced.
What options do I have as a school to apply for funding? Free complete weather balloon kit?
Many schools use the “classical way” via the funding association. There are also many opportunities to apply to foundations and funds for funding for school projects and to equip your mission with a science experiment that fits the respective fund. In your application, describe your science experiment that you would like to take into the stratosphere with the help of the weather balloon complete kit in order to carry out your research up there.
Here, in particular, the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG) and the RÜTGERS Stiftung to mention. Particularly noteworthy is the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie (FCI). In combination with an exciting chemistry experiment conducted by a fellow chemist, such as an experiment on the passage of the ozone layer, you can have the entire school project financed through grants from the fund, regardless of the type of school. Even beyond the Stratosphere Project, chemistry teachers can access funding of €2,500 every two years. This brings the FCI’s annual funding total to €13 million. Funding and opportunities for lots of cool school project ideas!
Alternative funding for a cool school project: Often sponsors such as local companies and associations support the project with donations in cash and kind and in return receive an “advertising space” on the research probe and thus appear in a press article as the official sponsor of the research mission during the school project week.