SCIENCE student set his sights as high as the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere for a weather experiment that won them a prize the day before it even launched.

The students at Harwich and Dovercourt High School worked together to plan, build and launch a weather balloon on Monday.

It took year ten student Alfie Benson, as part of after-school STEM classes, six months to make the weather balloon - which was kitted out with GoPro cameras and scientific equipment to record the temperature, humidity and altitude.

On Monday, year seven students Dylan Best and Zac Fontain, helped Alfie to launch the weather balloon from the school’s playing field.

It reached 24km in altitude and recorded an external temperature of -26 degrees.

Science teacher Allan Bullock said: “I’m proud of them.

“It was a long project, it wasn’t a case of just launching it.

“We had to have permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to launch and the Habub weather balloon trackers to ask them to track it as well and upload the data to their map.

“Alfie built a website that goes with it that followed the weather balloon on the day.

“As well as building the payload box he had to test it out and make sure the equipment would work at -26 degrees.”

The insulated box attached to the balloon also included a tracker, so the students were able to find out where it landed and collect it.

Mr Bullock added: “We had GoPros on it so we wanted to retrieve it - Alfie built a tracker that transmitted it’s location to an antenna on the school roof.

“It was in the air for two and a half hours and landed just outside of Colchester.”

Alfie has already won a prize from the Chelmsford Engineering Society and has been invited to the awards ceremony on July 11.

He won before he even launched the weather balloon.

On Thursday he and other pupils were taking their top inventions and creations to the Big Bang Fair in Hertfordshire in hope of winning awards.

Other student projects from the school that went included a racing drone with a camera and goggles so the driver can see out from the drone, a remote-controlled car built from scratch with a camera for the driver to view from, and a smart mirror.