Cool Kids in a Hot Air Balloon! Annie Sullivan Middle School Franklin MA
It happened yesterday morning around 8 am.
After much anticipation and a few delays due to weather, the 7 th grade classes of the Annie Sullivan Middle School Franklin MA were about to watch what they had been studying this year come to life right there in their school yard!
All part of the "Challenge the Wind" program here for the 7th graders. The curriculum couples studying physics with hot air ballooning and what better way to learn science in real time than to have "Big Max" right there in the school yard!
Students wrote essays in the hopes of earning the opportunity to ride in the hot air balloon or help balloon pilot Chris Mooney set it up. I'm sure it was a very difficult task as all the essays were excellent, but
16 of the students had their essays chosen by the pilot and took a teathered ride into the beautiful morning sky in Franklin MA.
The entire 7 grade filed out to watch. Outside, they came equipped with thermometers, tape measures, notebooks, pens and a lot of energy and enthusiasm!
The test balloon went up to check the wind direction and the real time lesson began. Watching a hot air balloon being set up is something to see and the Cool Kids of the 7th grade of the Annie Sullivan Middle School in Franklin MA had their eyes full.
"Big Max" was taken out of his tiny bag and stretched out on the field. Kids and parents were helping by moving the ropes and getting them in the correct position and attaching the basket to the balloon. A fascinating site made even more so by the size of the balloon when you are up close and personal.
The balloon is inflated with a fan. As it filled the pilot began heating the air until it rose majestically and cast a shadow over us all!
The cheers came up from the kids and then the fun began. One by one they got into the basket and pilot Chris Mooney took it up! What a sight!
Pilot Chris Mooney was excellent giving all a job including "daisy chaining" the ropes to pack it away! We all learned something new and had fun while doing it! What's better than that?
Just a couple of excerpts from the winning essays:
"Even if I don't get to fly in it, I would enjoy seeing the burners going, and observe how the balloon itself changes when the burners are off or on. I like seeing how parts work together, and that is one reason I would be thrilled to ride in the balloon." EM
"One reason is because it would be a very cool experience. I have never been in a plane so it would be my first time high in the air!" SG
" I have always dreamed about drifting along the clouds under a huge balloon. I think they're beautiful and I hear that it's like flying. Additionally I'm good at taking directions. I promise I will do whatever you tell me to." CL
"I only know a couple things about hot air balloons. I know that the parachute valve controls which altitude you are at the given moment and that the burners mix propane gas with air to create flame to propel the hot air balloon." GC
Wow! So you can see these kids of the Annie Sullivan Middle School in Franklin MA are really Cool!
Many thanks to balloon pilot Chris Mooney for bringing this adventure to the Franklin MA schools,
and to all of us who were there to watch and learn!