Balloon 1The 6th grade science curriculum includes the study of the atmosphere and thermodynamics. As part of this unit, students build and launch large paper hot air balloons. Led by science teacher Susan McCaskey, teams of students design, measure, and create their balloons from architectural paper. The construction requires students to measure eight gore panels and glue them together. The seams need to be secure, the weight accurate, and the construction sound for a successful flight. With the help of a propane burner each team has three minutes to get their balloon vertical and ready to launch. Students observe, record, and then compare the effect of the rising air temperature on each launch. A clear blue sky and very crisp temperatures enabled many successful flights.