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As part of our flying machines unit, we introduce students to a variety of aircraft that they can build themselves, including kites, compressed air rockets, gliders, and hot air balloons. Using a hot air balloon launcher, students can safely perform a test flight of their tissue paper hot air balloon.

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Winter15-Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon

grant photo
School:
East Lake Middle School Academy of Engineering 
Subject:
Stem 
Teacher:
Gregory Stewart 
Students Impacted:
130 
Grade:
Date:
January 15, 2015

Investor

Thank you to the following investor for funding this grant.

 

Jabil & The Pinellas Education Foundation - $180.50

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Goal

As part of our flying machines unit, we introduce students to a variety of aircraft that they can build themselves, including kites, compressed air rockets, gliders, and hot air balloons. Using a hot air balloon launcher, students can safely perform a test flight of their tissue paper hot air balloon.  

 

What will be done with my students

The envelope (gas bag) of a hot air balloon is composed of long gores (the panels that make up the envelope). Students will follow detailed instructions to shape the gores from tissue paper sheets and then glue them together to make to make an envelope that is approximately 20 inches in diameter and 30 inches tall. Students will then place the throat of the balloon over the hot air balloon launcher, inflate their balloon, and let it fly. 

 

Benefits to my students

This activity will allow students to discover the flight characteristics of hot air balloons, and also build fine-motor skills. As with all of our projects, students work in teams, which helps prepare for a career in the world outside of school.

While it is possible to use a hair dryer for this activity, it takes a very long time to inflate the balloons, and has a tendency to burn holes in the tissue paper. With the hot air balloon launcher, students can be empowered to quickly and safely test launch their balloons on their own. And of course the launcher can be used year after year.  

 

Describe the Students

Students are of mixed abilities. We have ESE and Gifted students, and levels 1-5 for FCAT Reading and Math. We are a brand new school, and because it is an engineering academy, all students attend engineering class. They are curious and thirsty for hands-on, team-based engineering activities.  

 

Budget Narrative

The budget includes the hot air balloon launcher which will be purchased from PITSCO, several packs of tissue paper and glue sticks, which will be purchased from Michaels.  

 

Items

# Item Cost
1 (1) Hot Air Balloon Launcher (PITSCO W13263) $99.00
2 (40) Packs of Tissue Paper Sheets (Michaels $1.29 per 10 sheets) $51.60
3 (10) Packages of Elmer's Extra Strength Glue Sticks (Michaels $2.99 per four sticks) $29.90
  Total: $180.50

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