Help me give my students the supplies they need (tissue paper, scissors, posterboard) to design and build high-flying hot air balloons to enrich their conceptual understanding of physics.
My students are part of a small, southern Georgia community with a strong military base connection. We are a public middle school with a programmatic STEM certification. The economic spectrum for our student body runs the full spectrum. It is our mission to offer challenging and engaging projects and opportunities to every member of the student body, regardless of economic and social disadvantages.
My 8th grade students are amazingly inquisitive and desire to be hands-on, investigative learners.
In order to provide the optimal environment for creative and critical thinkers to evolve, my students frequently need a differentiated approach. Affording them with opportunities for enrichment and engagement helps my students to grow beyond the curriculum and make connections to the world beyond the four walls of our classroom.
Students will begin the hot air balloon project by researching how Google uses hot air balloons to provide Internet services to regions around the world through Project Loon. Then students will use the Engineering Design Process to design and engineer their own hot air balloons using large tissue paper. The scissors and posterboard are supplementary supplies for constructing the balloons. This STEM activity is rich in physics topics appropriate for 8th graders, such as density, states of matter, particle motion, energy transformations, buoyancy, heat transfer (convection), and fluid displacement.
This project is challenging on many levels.
Students are required to exhibit teamwork, shared decision-making, critical thinking, and ultimately, ownership and responsibility. True to the nature of STEM, this activity requires flexible thinking, creativity, and innovative approaches for creating prototypes to test, redesign, and retest. Students will gather data, analyze it, look for patterns and then apply the findings to improve upon prototype design. This project will also lay the foundation for a later project on rocketry. My students are eager to meet the challenge with this hot air balloon project.
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|13100-1022-Pacon Posterboard Pack - 22" x 28", White, Pkg of 50 • Blick Art Materials||$17.17||5||$85.85|
|11303-7183-Blick Art Tissue - 20" x 30", Apple Green, 480 Sheets • Blick Art Materials||$47.91||1||$47.91|
|11303-6013-Blick Art Tissue - 20" x 30", Purple, 480 Sheets • Blick Art Materials||$47.91||1||$47.91|
|11303-3333-Blick Art Tissue - 20" x 30", Dark Pink, 480 Sheets • Blick Art Materials||$47.91||1||$47.91|
|11303-4013-Blick Art Tissue - 20" x 30", Yellow, 480 Sheets • Blick Art Materials||$47.91||1||$47.91|
|57096-1008-Scotch Multi-Purpose Scissors • Blick Art Materials||$3.16||10||$31.60|
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