In early September, Sir Wilfrid Laurier School in Calgary will become the first Canadian high school to fly experiments onboard a stratospheric balloon as part of the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA’s) Stratos Program. These students will join fellow Canadian scientists and university-level students to test and validate technologies that could lead to tomorrow’s innovations.

One of the high school’s experiments, the Lightning Probe, will read different physical characteristics at a high altitude, for example temperature, humidity, magnetic field strength and direction. The students will also fly two of their science fair projects, which were designed to measure the effect of altitude on the viability of plant seeds and to collect a sample of the gases present at high altitudes.

Quick Facts

The CSA’s Stratos Program was created through a collaboration with the French space agency, Centre national d’études spatiales (CNES).

This year’s stratospheric balloon campaign, KASA 2016, is taking place in Kiruna, Sweden.

Students and scientists from the École de technologie supérieure (Montreal, Quebec) and York University (Toronto, Ontario), along with Montreal firm MPB Communications Inc., will also be flying payloads during this campaign.

These Canadian payloads will be part of a 10-hour mission and will fly at an altitude of 36 km.

Since the first campaign was held in 2013, a total of five Canadian firms and nine universities have been given access to stratospheric balloons, contributing to the training of a total of 110 highly qualified personnel and advancing science and technology.


“In addition to benefitting from getting real data from their experiments, students will gain valuable engineering, manufacturing, project management and logistics skills. they will also gain experience in managing teams and develop human resource skills that will help them in their future careers.”

Jamie Parkinson, teacher behind the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School project


Canadian experiments and payloads for KASA 2016
Blog on Sir Wilfrid Laurier School