Learning Takes Flight At Barranca Elementary

Learning takes flight: Students in Ms. Waidler’s 5th grade Science and Social Studies class at Barranca Mesa Elementary School have been learning about water, weather and the science behind balloon flight. After quickly taking attendance, Ms. Waidler handed students their carefully constructed tissue paper hot air balloons. Students held them gently as they made their way down to the grassy field. There Ms. Waidler set up the burner device and selected the first balloon. With the help of parent volunteers, the balloon inflated and took flight. The students cheered and ran after the balloon. ‘What makes the balloon rise?’ Ms. Waidler asked when they gathered again. ‘The air inside the balloon heats up and becomes less dense so the balloon goes up,’ Emily Xu answered. This final project has been about a month in the making. Students began by learning about the amounts of water on Earth and reviewing the water cycle. Students learned how water temperature effects cloud formation. Finally, students began their study of the weather. They learned about air masses, air pressure, and about weather instruments. Before constructing their balloons, students studied balloon flight history and examined the science behind balloon flight. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

The air inside the balloon is heated with a burner. ‘Today was awesome because we got to launch our hot air balloons!’ Luke Creel said. ‘I found it interesting and it was really fun to make them.’ Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

We have liftoff. ‘Today we experienced flight,’ Liusa Schmidt said. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

‘I love how we got to chase the balloon like a chase crew,’ Xiomara Montoya said. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

The class gathers after the flights and Ms. Waidler goes over the morning’s activities. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

Liam Cunningham and parent volunteer Robert Cunningham construct one of the tissue paper balloons. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

Marisela Salazar and Liberty Hanks glue together the pieces of their hot air balloon. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

Ceia Pesiri and Tyler Jones work on the panels of their hot air balloon. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

Students test their hot air balloon and look for holes that need patching. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com

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