Students of all ages are about to watch their science experiments take flight. Allan Hancock College hosts the Regional Balloon Fest on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine.

Twenty eight teams of students from area middle and high schools are flying weather balloons hundreds of feet in the air to collect data. A special device allows them to measure temperature, humidity, wind speed, barometric pressure and other factors.

The event is put on by Allan Hancock College and the Endeavor Institute, an education non-profit that works with area schools to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education.

The launch time is set for 7-10 a.m. on the Hancock athletic fields of the Santa Maria campus. The students will spend the rest of the day in the Academic Resources Center, Building L-South, analyzing their data and presenting their results to the judges. The judging panel includes faculty from Hancock’s life and physical sciences department, PG&E and the Society of Women Engineers.

More than 100 students from Orcutt Academy High School, Vandenberg Middle School and Learning for Life School, which is in Marina, are participating in this year’s Balloon Fest.

The event was developed with the support of the Hispanic Serving Institution STEM & Articulation program from the U.S. Department of Education.

Please call Andrew Masuda at 922-6966 ext. 3779, or email him at