Education rewired: a few students from Catalonia (and their teacher) built a helium balloon, equipped it with a cheap digital camera, some sensors, and launched it. Its instruments connected the camera to earth and transmitted its position data to the students in real time, together with athmospheric conditions and images, just like NASA’s more expensive probes.
The baloon climbed up to 30,677 meters, much higher than the 10,000 meters of commercial aviation: the students admit being a bit lucky. After that it began its descent back to earth, and again the students were lucky: it fell on the ground (instruments intact!) just some 48 km from the launching place. All the time the students followed their balloon through Google Earth.
See the images here.