Girls in Research
Nancy and I were invited to teach classes for the Girls in Research program several times at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. 
This year the girls and their mentors turned out to build and fly hot air balloons.  
The mentors work with the girls throughout the program and tell the girls what it is like to do laboratory or field research. 

Here the girls are getting instruction then cutting and pasting tissue paper to assemble their balloons.

A trial inflation indoors just to see if they are flight ready.
Any holes are repaired before the flight.


Ready for their first flight.  Excitement mounts.

We inflate the balloons with very hot air and they lift off. 
We attached a cord to each balloon so we could recover them for another flight.

Some of the girls wanted to set their balloons free but we didn't want to risk the problems that uncontrolled flight might cause.

They all flew at least once. Minor repairs made most ready for a second or even a third flight.

Here are some in flight.

Not all of the flights were entirely successful. 
A gust of wind while filling caused a couple to be ignited with just the results you would expect for a tissue paper aircraft.
Some of the girls wanted theirs to burn but I tried to keep it safe if I could.
A wind change after liftoff resulted in decorating some of the campus trees.
And when the tether came loose from a couple they rose and disappeared out of sight. 
I hope that they didn't cause any problems.

When you are done flying your balloon why not wear it?

I hope the girls had as much fun as we did.
From the looks on their faces I think they did.

Go to our Science Fun page
Go to our Travels page
Go to our Personal home page
Go to our Community page

E-mail Nancy and Alan