A set of low-cost, compact multispectral imaging systems have been developed for deployment on tethered balloons for education and outreach based on basic principles of optical remote sensing. They have proven to be sufficiently capable, and they are now being used in research as well. The imagers use tiny complementary metal-oxide semiconductor cameras with low-cost optical filters to obtain images in red and near-infrared bands, and a more recent version includes a blue band. The red and near-infrared bands are used primarily for identifying and monitoring vegetation through the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), while the blue band can be used for studying water turbidity and so forth. The imagers are designed to be carried by tethered balloons to altitudes currently up to approximately 50 m. These undergraduate-student-built imaging systems are being used by university and college students for a broad range of applications in multispectral imaging, remote sensing, and environmental science.