Teaching on the Edge

Using High-Altitude Ballooning in the Classroom

Welcome Science Educators,

Teaching on the Edge is an educational program that combines the various STEM disciplines into an engaging and unique learning experience that utilizes high altitude balloons within the classroom. We named it Teaching on the Edge because high altitude balloons allow you and your students to discover what it’s like at the edge of our atmosphere. This website is both a reference guide and an educational tool for science educators at all levels.

Teaching on the Edge provides students with an opportunity to experience near space conditions through high-altitude ballooning. As part of this real world experience students will explore the scientific method and formulate questions as well as experiments that are analogous to the ones that NASA conducted in the early years of the space program.

We have collected a digital learning library composed of Earth and space science as well as general science lesson plans, high altitude balloon flight data, videotapes, and lists of potential experiments that can be performed via high altitude balloons. We have also included a supplemental, interactive iBook that is perfect for middle school students to use as a handy guide. It corresponds to the lesson materials on the website, but has been edited for their ease of use.

If you are a middle school teacher (or a pre-service science teacher getting ready for your first middle school classroom), there is a Frequently Asked Questions page designed specifically for you. Likewise, if you are a university science methods instructor, there is a FAQ page designed for you that speaks to the role you can play in this amazing experience.



Information, resources, and lesson plans for teaching high-altitude ballooning at the collegiate level.

Learn More »

Pre/In-Service Teachers

Information, resources, and lesson plans for teaching high-altitude ballooning in the middle school classroom (5th-8th grades).

Learn More »


Simulated Flights

View an interactive map visualizing a balloon launch, with environmental data and weather maps.

Learn more »


Download the lesson plans and more educational resources, including materials, instructions, and lesson plans.

Learn More »