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Space Is The Limit

Taking East Jordan to the Edge of Space

East Jordan—  East Jordan Shoe Club partnered with local business Socks Kick to send the shoe and sock to the outer reaches of our atmosphere.

The Shoe Club is for middle school students in East Jordan, Michigan. It teaches kids to set goals, work hard, dream big and to give back to their community. The ultimate goal is to help kids value themselves so they can value others. The club uses shoes to represent people's stories and encourage students to walk a mile in each other's shoes.

Josiah Middaugh is an East Jordan graduate and a world champion triathlete. His positive attitude, work ethic and leadership skills exemplified with the shoe club strives to teach. He donated his 2015 XTERRA World Championship shoes to the club and these are the shoes we used in this project.

Socks Kick is a socks company started by Baris Atmaca and his wife Cigdem. He was a Rotary foreign exchange student from Turkey and graduated from East Jordan in 2006. His love for Northern Michigan fueled his passion to return and start a business in this community.

The shoe club and Socks Kick worked together through this community project to promote dreaming and reaching for the stars.

For our setup we had a weather balloon that was attached to a parachute, which then attached to the base. On the base we had Josiah's World Championship shoe with a East Jordan Red Devil branded sock manufactured by Baris's company, a GPS tracking device and cameras to record our trip.

We released the balloon and base from the East Jordan Airport. The balloon expanded as it ascended through the atmosphere. When the balloon reached approximately 100,000 feet the balloon popped sending our base back to earth. It took approximately 2 hours to ascent and 30 minutes to descent.

The project involved 10 kids from 8th to 10th grade and it took 2 months of research and preparation. Nathan Newman, a sophomore, took the lead in researching and planning the project. We also worked closely with the National Weather Service out of Gaylord to learn about the best weather conditions for launching our balloon. It was full of adventure from planning to finding the base and definitely an exciting project to work on for all involved!

We are looking forward to more projects, which will inspire students to dream big and work, hard to achieve their goals.

For more information:

Video of the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hldEKmQIhhM

East Jordan Shoe Club – Matt Hamilton – hamiltonm@ejps.org

Socks Kick – Baris Atmaca – baris@sockskick.com