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Lesson Reaches Unprecedented Heights

posted Jan 13, 2017, 5:01 AM by Lee Stephens   [ updated Jan 18, 2017, 8:05 AM by Deborah Wickliffe ]
Seneca residents be aware. Should you find a large piece or two of colored tissue paper in your yard know that it is a result of a science experiment going extremely well. Recently the cold temperatures following the snow storm provided the perfect opportunity for the seventh grade science classes at Seneca Middle School to put their lessons about density to the test.

Following in-class lectures about the principles of air density, groups of students built, tested and then gathered outside in the below freezing temperatures to fly their homemade hot air balloons constructed out of panels of colorful tissue paper. Teachers Deborah Belflower and Eddie Chavis supervised the application of hot air into the balloons via a burner fueled by small tanks of propane gas. Once fully inflated, the balloons were released and the students were able to see the principle of air density in action – the balloons rose ever higher as the hot air encountered colder and colder layers of air. In fact, for the first time in several years of conducting this experiment, several of the balloons were so successfully constructed that they ended up soaring far beyond the school grounds and the immediate neighboring environs.

Both the students and teachers were amazed with the results. Indeed, Belfower asks, “If you should find any of the balloons, we would really appreciate it if you contact the school so the kids can get an appreciation of just how well their air density lessons and attention to detail in the construction of the balloons paid off.” Contact the school at (864)886-4455 or email the teachers directly at or