Grade 6 students at Ecole Mother Teresa School in Sylvan Lake were treated to a hot air balloon demonstration on Feb. 9, after finishing their flight unit in science class.
Within the flight unit, students learn about the principles of air that affect flight, teacher Kim Klassen said.
“They have learned about parachutes, hot air balloons, airplanes (propeller and jet engines), and rockets.”
They also learned about natural items as well including seeds, animals like squirrels, birds, and some fish.
She added that the students also learn how the parts work to help things fly in the unit.
“They have learned that some devices can’t be controlled in direction or speed (floaters), some have a bit of control in direction but not speed (gliders), and some have full control of both speed and direction (flyers),” Klassen said.
Sheri and Cliff Skocdopole, who have grandchildren in the class, brought the hot air balloon to the school.
“They were very interested in bringing it in for the students to see as many people never get to see one up close and personal,” Klassen said.
Before the demonstration, Sheri and Cliff gave a presentation inside the school about the history of hot-air ballooning and some of the events and races they were involved in.
Afterwards, students in the class had the opportunity to ask questions and learn about how hot air balloons operate in the sky, how individuals require a license to fly a hot air balloon, and what happens if two hot air balloons run into each other.
For the students, the experience is one that will never be forgotten.
“I think that seeing the hot air balloon blew my mind, it was much bigger and cooler than I thought. The presentation helped me with my test. I loved every moment of watching the hot air balloon,” Jack Hewlett said.
“The hot air balloon this morning was so cool. It got bigger and bigger when he put more fire (hot air) in the balloon. The basket had a lot of ropes on it so people could bring him down safely,” Ayla Parson said.
“It was very cool to see a hot air balloon. To see the step-by-step process and to see the inside of the basket. It was a privilege for it to happen literally 10 feet away. I will hopefully one day get to ride in one,” Vinae Richinski said.