Misión Águila Arpía is the first-ever regional STEM Americas event to bring together future leaders from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, and Peru to celebrate aerospace innovation.
The mission is part of the Pan American Development Foundation’s (PADF) STEM Americas program, an education initiative that promotes sustainable livelihoods throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The event will be hosted in the city of Colon, on the Panama coast, to launch a capsule into the Earth’s stratosphere.
This unique regional event aims to position Latin America and the Caribbean as a leading region for innovation and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. The objective of the launch is to analyze topography, gather specific information like atmospheric data and physical conditions for plant life in space, and more.
Date: July 20, 2022
Location: The event will take place in the city of Colon, on the Caribbean coast of Panama, at the Armando Dely Valdés Stadium.
Participants: 1,000+ participants, including PADF Goodwill Ambassador for STEM Education, First Lady of Panama Yazmín Colón de Cortizo; President Nito Cortizo; PADF Executive Director Katie Taylor; and representatives from the private sector and the diplomatic community. STEM education students will also be in attendance.
Media coverage: The event will be covered by local and regional press, highlighted on PADF’s website and social media channels, and broadcast on national TV through SERTV.
The capsule system consists of a large latex weather balloon inflated with helium to a diameter of about 10 feet, attached by nylon cord to a capsule full of STEM experiments from STEM Americas students, and then released into the atmosphere. Each capsule is about a cubic foot in volume, and it is suspended beneath the balloon, with a parachute between the balloon and capsule.
The balloon ascends, expanding as it rises into thinner and thinner atmosphere, driven in whatever direction the wind blows it, collecting data as it goes, until it reaches a height of 80,000 to 100,000 feet. At that point it bursts. As the assemblage descends, the parachute eventually encounters thicker air and the payload drifts downward, to be recovered in a cross-country chase by a group of enthusiastic students. The experiments are then brought back to the lab and their results analyzed.
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