What do you get when you combine a Wal-Mart lunchbox, a radar reflector, a parachute, and a giant, six-foot balloon? This unusual list of materials was collected and assembled into a device used to collect atmospheric data by three seniors at Northwest Yeshiva High School. Itai Amon, Shawn Sobel, and Shaina Stone set out to Moses Lake this past Sunday with their Astronomy teacher, Peter Brodkin, to collect evidence of the earth’s curvature as well as to study the relationship between humidity, temperature, and altitude. The balloon rose to 101,680 feet (about 20 miles), stretching to 30 feet in diameter at maximum altitude. Its temperature dropped from the initial 82 degrees on earth to a chilly -48 degrees in space, and the device was also able to record a humidity level of just 1 percent. The students tracked the balloon’s location using a GPS system attached to the apparatus. They recovered the balloon 112 miles away from the launch site in a cornfield among “seemingly endless wind turbines,” according to Mr. Brodkin, in Pullman, Wash., where it had traveled at a rapid 100 mph. Itai, Shawn, and Shaina greatly enjoyed this adventurous, hands-on learning experience and appreciate how it heightened their understanding of the classroom lessons.