SCHOOL students from Malvern will have the chance to launch a weather balloon high into the atmosphere as part of this year's Festival of Innovation.

The three Counties Showground is the venue on Tuesday, October 3, for a day showcasing creative science, technology, and entrepreneurship for middle and senior school students from around the region.

As part of the day, weather balloon expert Nick McCloud will talk about the details of preparing and launching a weather balloon for travel up to an altitude of 30km, 3.5 times the height of Mount Everest.

The participants will then, weather permitting, be able to watch the launch of a helium weather balloon with permission to launch given by the Civil Aviation Authority.

The balloon will be tracked using the UK-wide radio tracking network and details of progress as it travels over the UK will be monitored from the exhibition hall at the Three Counties Showground.

Meanwhile a ground crew will head off to retrieve the balloon’s payload when the balloon finally bursts drops back to earth.

The activity will be a taster of longer projects that school students can undertake to prepare payloads and build tracking equipment using Raspberry Pi computers.

The students will also have the opportunity to design stickers for the payload and choose items that will be launched with the balloon.

Dr Adrian Burden, the festival's founder, said: The Next Generation Innovators schools' session is a fantastic day for students in years 7 to 9 to experience first-hand the world of science, engineering and technology, as well as design and entrepreneurship.

"This year we’ve had over 800 students register through schools in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and we have numerous organisations helping out including Malvern Instruments, QinetiQ, Mazak, Legrand, GE Aviation, and several universities from around the region."

The day will also include the chance for students to build and programme their own robots in workshops run by Brett Laniosh from Bromsgrove based Catshill Learning Partnerships.

He said: “We wanted to introduce young people to robotics and engineering and these fun workshops will be an opportunity for 40 children from different schools to do just that.

“As well as developing problem-solving skills, their finished robot will give the children a sense of achievement.”

"We are delighted that CGI Group has sponsored the workshops which will mean that the completed robots will be given to the schools to use in class. Who knows, perhaps one of these young robot builders will be part of a team that builds your next electric car or even a future Mars rover.”