Explore Earth - All about Weather Balloons
Tuesday 12/08/2020
6:00 pm ET
FREE 1-hour Webinar
Educators in Grades K-12
The NASA Educator Professional Development Collaborative at
Texas State University is providing a 1-hour webinar.

Participants will begin learning about basic variables used within weather and atmospheric sciences to describe the state of the atmosphere. Focus will then turn to providing a basic description of what a weather balloon is, the instrumentation onboard, as well as the significance weather balloon data provides to meteorologists.

This webinar will also include exercises for plotting balloon data, along with analysis/discussion using real-world examples of how weather balloon data is used in forecasting so that a student may do some forecasting themselves.  Use of weather balloons in support of NASA project QSF’18 – part of the commercial supersonic transportation initiative – will also be discussed highlighting how analysis of atmospheric variables is important in predicting the propagation of sonic boom sounds.


This webinar addresses the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Math Standards.




Barbie Buckner is a 20+ year STEM classroom teacher with a Doctorate’s Degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Louisville. Her research interest included the impact of technology on student achievement and teacher behavior. Buckner recently served as a 2013-14 Einstein Fellow at the National Science Foundation Education and Human Resources Directorate where she collaborated with colleagues on learning, learning environments, boarding participating and workforce development. Barbie sees education as her calling and has spent her life sharing her love for learning with everyone around her. Knowing that today’s student will compete in a global economy, Barbie says that “It is imperative that today’s students are prepared with consistent rigorous and relevant standards that produce more STEM majors, particularly women, to keep this great nation at the forefront in technology, innovation, and advancement.”

Kim Bestul has served as a meteorologist at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center for nearly 6 years. She received her Bachelors of Science in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of North Dakota in 2012 and is currently a graduate student at the University of Utah working toward a Masters of Science in Atmospheric Sciences. While working at AFRC, Kim has served as the lead contract meteorologist, has served as the lead meteorologist for several field and flight campaigns – including a multi-phase Acoustic Research project collaboration with NASA Langley. Most recently Kim has been awarded Center Innovation Funds for the past two years for development of a specialized boundary layer weather sensor suite.