Michael Reynolds, an EAA Chapter 1361 member and CFI is a teacher at Carson City High School (CHS) instructing both Astronomy and Chemistry classes. Part of the curriculum in both of these courses are the Gas Laws. These laws involve Archimedes principal, buoyancy , Boyle’s law, Charles Law, Henry’s law and Positive, Negative, and Neutral Buoyancy and Bernoulli’s principle . This Hot Air Balloon project was designed to demonstrate all of these principles in a hands on fun, Lab demonstration. The project was coordinated by Michael Reynolds and executed by MS Karalyn Mumm, another member of EAA 1361. MS. Mumm is the owner and operator of the Hot Air balloon that was used for the STEM activity. After CHS and District coordination was completed we launched MS Mumm’s balloon (for tethered flights) on the front lawn of CHS. Six (6) classes were in involved in this activity for a total of approximately 180 students that were directly involved. Many other classes were invited to attend and or observed/participated in the activity. During the course of this activity we had approximately 300 students either directly involved or observing the activity. We gave approximately 85 student tether rides to an altitude of 40 feet and 15 tethered rides to CHS teachers and District officials. The classes that were directly involved were required to complete a Lab report that included mathematical calculations on Boyle’s law, Charles Law, The force of Buoyancy and to use their own weight in calculating the force required to lift themselves and the weight of the pilot and the balloon. Safety was the primary concern for this project and this activity was well planned and executed with no issues or problems.
This project had previously never been done at CHS and would not have been completed without the generous donation of time, equipment and expense of MS Mumm and EAA chapter 1361. EAA chapter 1361 conducts many non-profit activities including the Young Eagles program to motivate and inspire today’s youth to pursue a career in Aerospace or Aviation.