The Perryton Herald
April 16, 1995


Perryton's Sky View Remote Sensing team is on cloud nine after tying for first place in the SkyView Prototype Remote Sensing Competition April 10 in Austin. The team received certificates of recognition for their achievements, along with a total cash award of $250, which will be used to purchase additional technology equipment for Perryton High School. The Sky View team includes, from left, front row, Shawn Hardy, Dominick Herald, sponsor Bobette Doerrie. Jerrod Vick, Baron Matthews; and back row, Torri Bates, information, please see related story.

Sky View team ties for first place honors at competition

The Perryton Sky View Remote Sensing Team traveled to Austin for state competition April 10, and returned with honors.

The Sky View Prototype Remote Sensing competition, sponsored by the Texas Space Grant Consortium and the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, is a program intended to scale down the remote sensing that is done by satellites to activities that can be done by students.

The program has existed for three years, and this is the first year that Perryton has entered a team.

The Perryton team tied for first place overall by winning first place in Application, second place in Engineering and second place in Presentation. Included with the
certificates they won was a total cash award of $250, which they will spend on additional technology equipment for the school.

Other schools had competed previously and included teams from Georgetown High School, Georgetown; Kelly High School, Beaumont; Killeen High; School, Killeen; Langham Creek High, Houston; and Pearland - High School, Pearland--all AAAA or AAAAA schools.

According to the sponsor from Langham Creek, that school has a senior class of 800 and a population of 2,600 in the high school.

The Perryton team chose to monitor a prairie dog town near Perryton, using an automatic camera which was suspended in a dowel rod platform, supported by a four-foot weather balloon and controlled by three tethers.

They used a variety of film, ranging from color to high speed black and white, slide and infrared film. They developed and printed all the film themselves, with the exception of the color film.

Team members discovered that pictures taken with infrared film, enhanced by a computer program provided by the Space Grant Consortium, clearly showed
warm areas in the ground, probably locations of tunnels.

Team sponsor Bobette Doerrie, Perryton High School physics teacher, said, "I think the team members don't realize yet the extent of their success. For the first time in the history of the program, a team accomplished all that the program sponsors envisioned.

"They intended that students would do something similar to what NASA does -- select an application they wish to study that is not adaptable to direct measurement, take aerial photos, scan the photos into a computer, enhance the pictures with computer programs and get information not available any other way," she said.

"Our team is the only one in three years that has done exactly that, and it is our first time in the competition," Doerrie added.

"The community and school can be very proud of these students!"

The effort is a spin-off of the "Reach for Space" weather balloon project, and uses the cameras, computers and other equipment provided by grant funds from the Texas Education Agency and equipment and helium provided by Hoechst Celanese in Pampa.

Team members include Dominick Herrald, Shawn Hardy, Oscar Chaparro, Torri Bates, Jerrod Vick, Steven Ellis, Shane Bettis and Baron Matthews. Sponsors are Doerrie and Dana Diedrich. Gay Kile, Bates' mother, accompanied the team to Austin along with Doerrie when Diedrich was unable to go.

Doerrie said, "The team would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to a number of community members that made the project possible, like Scott Archer, Debbie Felix of Balloon Express, United Supermarket, the Kiwanis Club, Rotary International The Western Company, Delta Upsilon sorority, people who supported our car washes and food sales. Also, Amelia Chaparro, who has guided mothers and team members through a strenuous fund raising effort we have come to call 'Days of Our Tamales! '"

The Sky View team is already making plans for next year.

--Reprinted with the permission of The Perryton Herald.--

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