THE sky is the limit for a group of enthusiastic scientists from a Witham academy.

Last Wednesday five members of Maltings Academy’s Stem club sent a balloon more than 27,000 metres towards the edge of space, higher than commercial airliners travel.

The project, which was funded with grants from the British Science Association, started at the beginning of the academic year and is part of an exciting programme of ventures on offer for members of the extremely popular club.

Allan Bullock, science teacher and head of the Stem club, said: “About a year ago I watched a Youtube video and I started wondering how much it would cost to do it.

“The kids probably didn’t realise it but we only had one chance for it to work. This was a big thing.”

The five man team of pupils from years eight, nine and ten Ben Mawhood, Will Mcgough, Adam Lough, Toby Palmer and Dan Fletcher, used a Raspberry pi computer to send pictures back throughout the trip, snapping some amazing shots from the upper edge of the earth’s atmosphere.

Jon Graham, another science teacher involved with the club, said: “We had people tracking it like they were the control centre of a rocket to space. We were outside trying to find it and they were feeding back to us about what was happening.

“From the time it set off we were in a car driving and so the kids were in charge of it. We cannot overstate how well the kids have done. They were absolutely amazing.”

The balloon burst before it could reach its maximum altitude of 35,000 metres and was found by the teachers in a field in Thetford, 56 miles away from where it launched.

Mr Graham continued: “The kids are learning stuff about science sometimes without even knowing.

"It is not like what you usually think of with science practicals.

“If you would have asked the kids a year ago they would never have said this was possible but now they will remember it for the rest of their lives.

“When you are outside and you see these kids doing something that they would never otherwise do it is amazing.

"It is the reason everyone gets into teaching in the first place to have the children so inspired like this.”

Follow @STEMclubMTA.