and I were invited to teach classes for the Girls in Research program
at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. This year the girls and
out to build and fly hot air balloons. The mentors work with
throughout the program and tell the girls what it is like to do
laboratory or field research.
Here the girls are
instruction then cutting and pasting tissue paper to assemble their
A trial inflation
indoors just to see
if they are flight ready.
Any holes are repaired before the flight.
Ready for their first
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
repairs made most ready for a second or even a third flight.
Here are some in flight.
Not all of the flights
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
When you are done flying
why not wear it? I hope the girls had as
much fun as
From the looks on their faces I think they did.