Hot air balloons used to teach US kids science

In the Knoxville area of Tennessee recently, hot air balloonists travelled around local schools demonstrating their craft and showing pupils science in action.

The teams of pilots and crews were in the area to attend a local balloon festival, which is held annually at Hiwassee College in Madisonville.

Many of the balloonists attending the festival arrived early to allow themselves plenty of time to set everything out, get the lie of the land, and sort out any issues before the event. This year, some of the pilots decided to give their hot air balloons a test run, while benefitting young students at the same time.

They visited local schools to show the kids how the balloons were inflated and set up. During the process, the teams explained the physics behind hot air ballooning to the children. This approach of letting the pupils see physics in action is aimed at being a fun and engaging way for them to learn.

One of the balloonists spoke to a local WBIR reporter about their approach, commenting that along with basic physics, they also explained to the students just how hot the inside of the balloon envelope can be, which can reach 200 degrees.

The educational programme was deemed a great success and the festival itself was said to have went without a hitch. All funds raised by the event will be used to allow children who excel academically despite difficult circumstances to attend Hiwassee College under its H.O.P.E. programme, with the money going towards bed and board for these students.

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