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Launch 'n learn

By Staff
Geometry students utilize balloons
Melissa Cason
PHIL CAMPBELL – The students in Resa Witt's math classes at Phil Campbell High School find geometry fun and interesting thanks to assignments like the recent tissue paper balloons that were launched last week.
The students formed teams to create a balloon out of tissue paper and a clue.
"The students created the balloons using a pattern," Witt said. "The students were supposed to use very little tape in the project because tape weighs the balloons down."
Witt said she assigns the project during the winter so that the hot air will make the balloons fly higher because of the cooler air.
"We use propane to fill the balloons with hot air to make them lift off and fly," she said.
In years past, the balloons have flown high and out of sight. So this year, they decided to put notes on the balloons in case they left the area.
"We put our names on them and asked whoever found the balloon to call the school so we would know how far it went up," Witt said. "This is the first year we put notes on them so we don't know if anyone will call."
Last week, each group flew the balloons. During her sixth period class, most balloons stayed in sight.
Witt uses the project to introduce shapes to the students.
"We are about to study different shapes like trapezoids," she said. "This is something fun we do in the beginning of that unit."
Witt's geometry classes are made up of tenth, eleventh and twelfth graders.