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SMS Science Lesson Reaches Unprecedented Heights

posted Jan 18, 2017, 7:59 AM by Deborah Wickliffe   [ updated Jan 18, 2017, 8:03 AM ]
Seneca residents, if you should find a large piece or two of colored tissue paper in your yard know that it is a result of a science experiment that went extremely well. Recently the cold temperatures following the snow storm provided the perfect opportunity for a research project conducted by the seventh grade science classes at Seneca Middle School.

The project was a culmination of in-class lectures about the principles of air density. To further investigate the principles learned, groups of students built homemade air balloons out of panels of colorful tissue paper. They then gathered outside in the below freezing temperatures to launch the balloons.

Teachers Deborah Belflower and Eddie Chavis supervised the burner, fueled by small tanks of propane gas, which inserted the hot air into the balloons. Once fully inflated, the balloons were released and the students were able to see the principle of air density in action. The balloons rose higher and 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 they soared far beyond the school grounds and the immediate neighborhoods.

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