Photo submitted to The Union by Samantha Jone
Eighth-graders at Nevada City School of the Arts, led by teacher Dave Gordon, launched their hot air balloons recently as part of their study of density. The hot air balloon launch is the culminating event of the 8th grade’s study of density. Over the course of two weeks, students learn about the scientific aspects of density, how to work in teams, follow directions, and engineer their own balloons. While creating their balloons, the students learn that when air heats up, the molecules gain kinetic energy and it takes fewer molecules to fill up and pressurize the balloon. Fewer molecules means the hot air inside a balloon has less mass than the surrounding air which causes the balloon to rise. Working in small groups, the students brought their best scientific and artistic abilities to create beautiful tissue paper balloons that would soar high above the school!
All the students at Nevada City School of the Arts anticipate the annual balloon launch. This year the weather was especially beautiful, the atmospheric conditions just right, and the balloons flew to amazing heights.