• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Using balloons and their imaginations to walk on air

Pop. Pop. Pop.

The distinctive sound of bursting balloons filled the air as third- and fourth-graders tried to figure out how to walk on air.

Using balloons and their imaginations on the second day of classes at St. Leo School last Thursday, small groups of students relied on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills to come up with a solution for how to walk on air.

“They can. It’s possible. They just haven’t figured it out yet,” said third-grade teacher Lindsay Bentley, as the sounds of popping balloons echoed around her.

Students used masking tape and an array of flat surfaces in failed attempts to walk on balloons. More importantly, they worked together – sharing ideas – to figure out a solution to this engineering problem, said fourth-grade teacher Nancy Zanzucchi.

By the end of class – and their school day – students had used nearly all of their 100 balloons and come “very close” to solving this STEM challenge, “but they’re not quite there,” added Zanzucchi.

Students would have to wait another day before finding out how they can use balloons to walk on air. Even so, fourth-grader Aurea Dove said, “It’s fun to see how it turns out,” as she taped another balloon and a flat piece of wood under her stocking foot.

“I’m going to try to walk on the balloon part with the block,” explained Aurea, 9.

Asked about the sound of balloons popping around her, 8-year-old Annabelle Lewis said, “That’s hurting my ears.”

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