Artesia Public School 5th graders from all five elementary schools had the opportunity to construct hot air balloons with the direction of actual hot air balloon pilots and local scientists. Pilots instructed students to piece together their balloons from tissue paper panels.
As the students worked together, the pilots had the opportunity to tell stories of their various hot air balloon flights. One pilot, Stan, described his first flight in a balloon basket over the Sarengeti of Africa. High above the plains, he had a bird’s eye view of herds of gazelle and impala. He was able to share his experience with students at Roselawn Elementary School as they worked together to build their own miniature versions.
Each balloon consisted of 7 panels that the students glued together in small groups. A stencil provided by the pilots was then used to trace the shape of the long balloon, and the students then glued the sides together. After the small groups completed their balloon, the long, canon shaped balloon was held over a funnel to fill the balloon with air to send it aloft outdoors to the delight of the students across the district.
Making balloons with the balloon pilots is just one of a few fall traditions for the community. Other traditions include a pep assembly at the Bulldog Bowl and the flight of balloons from every elementary school, weather permitting. The balloon crews are on hand to answer questions from students and to provide a little know how behind their craft. This year the Chamber of Commerce resurrected an old Bulldog tradition of the community “Growl.” The community gathered to view balloons inflating from the Bowl and hear family friendly entertainment, including Battle Flag and the Artesia fight song to kick off the Balloons & Tunes weekend. The cherry on top of an action-packed balloon weekend, was that the hot air balloons launched both Saturday and Sunday mornings thanks to the glorious November weather.