By Published: March 1, 2018

Pathways Class

Students in “Pathway to Space,” the gateway course for CU Boulder’s space minor, released 170 balloons during a Jan. 18 class meeting.

In Brief: 

  • CU space minors released 170 balloons
  • Attached to each was a note and $1
  • They’ve landed as far away as Texas
  • Space minor open to students of every major
  • Part of CU’s Grand Challenge

Attached to each was a note — and a $1 bill to draw the attention of people happening upon remnants that returned to Earth.

The note asked passersby to report when and where the balloons landed.

As of mid-February, about 25 people from as far away as Texas had submitted online reports, said Courtney Fell of CU’s Office of Information Technology, which helped develop “Pathway to Space.” The talk-show-format lecture course, now in its second year and open to undergraduates of all majors with a minor in space, is part of CU Boulder’s multi-year, campuswide Grand Challenge, “Our Space. Our Future.”

The challenge aims to “transform the landscape of space exploration and find pathways to address significant issues our planet faces.”

Led by Chris Koehler (Aero’92; MMechEngr’94), director of the Colorado Space Grant Consortium, with participation from dozens of other CU faculty, “Pathway” helps students identify areas of interest in space to pursue further.


Photo by Glenn Asakawa