Isenberg fifth-graders get visit from Re/Max balloon

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Staff report
Isenberg Elementary School fifth-grader Tykilius Whisonant wasn’t long-winded in explaining the appeal of Wednesday’s big event at the school.
“It sure is a good big balloon,” Tykilius said. And it sure was.
The Re/Max Hot Air Balloon, along with the Re/Max team, visited Isenberg to present a demonstration about the balloon and help students get pumped-up for upcoming end-of-grade testing.
Principal Jerome Heggins said the theme for the day was, “Dream Big, Think Big. The Sky is the Limit.”
Isenberg teacher June Hysell saw the Re/Max balloon and took a ride while visiting the mountains. She suggested bringing the balloon and team to the school for a program.
In addition to inflating the balloon for students, pilot Tom Lattin conducts a science lesson showing how a trash bag can fly inflated with hot air, just like the balloon. Lattin also answers questions about the materials and burner used in the Re/Max balloon and lets students feel samples of the fabric used to make it.
And the pilot conducts a history lesson, part of which explains that the first military use of a hot-air balloon came during the Civil War, when they were used to scout enemy lines.
Some Isenberg teachers were to take a ride in the Re/Max balloon as part of the demonstration Wednesday, but windy conditions kept it tethered to the ground, where students paraded by and looked up inside the massive airship.
The sight produced mixed reactions.
Nathan Propst observed that it “takes a lot of air to fill, and it is shaped like a football.”
Eyleen Moreno found it “interesting how you put hot air in the balloon with fire. I would like to get in one.”
Brandy Dixon, meanwhile, vowed, “I will never go in one because I’m afraid of it.”
Students got one more lesson: how to deflate the balloon and the proper way to pack it after use.
Even after the Re/Max balloon was gone, though, Baylee Moreno wasn’t likely to forget it.
“Seeing the balloon was the greatest sight to see during my fifth-grade year,” Baylee said.