Up, Up and Away!

with Mr. Bill Hummer

Last July the first 'winds' for this project blew across Myrna Hastings' monitor as she was surfing the WWW. She saw the "Balloonin' USA" project that was to 'liftoff' in September as a South Dakota assistant superintendent of schools, Kevin Kuehn, began a year long journey across the USA with his hot air balloon.

Since the USA is part of the third grade curriculum Myrna decided to launch the project at Delmar. Eagerly the third graders and several other classes at Delmar Elementary tracked Kevin's journey across the continental USA and followed the many files that arrived describing each location. This was a fun way to learn more about the USA.

The Delmar students wrote persuasive letters to Kevin asking him to make Delmar his Maryland school to visit. They were thrilled when Kevin sent word that he was coming! April 10th was the day of his planned visit. The day before he was to arrive Delmarva had most unusual weather for April - snow! The ground was too wet and the winds were too strong for a liftoff but this didn't take the hot air out of the excitement at Delmar. Kevin met the kids at two assemblies and then visited classrooms. It was still a high-flying day.

In preparation for Kevin's visit, a local balloonist, Bill Hummer, came to school and brought his gondola and books, pictures and other items which sat in the school foyer for several weeks. Mr. Hummer planned to liftoff in his hot air balloon along with Kevin but our weather did not cooperate. Bill promised the students that he would return to school when the weather would allow a liftoff. On May 2nd he kept his word and the entire school met in the soccer field across from the school to see the gorgeous red and yellow hot air balloon carrying Mr. and Mrs. Hummer liftoff into the blue skies of Delmar.

The students tell what they saw...

The Balloon Went Up!

One day on May 2nd 1996, Delmar had a very special day. Everyone met outside to see the balloon go up. The balloon was red and yellow. First the Kindergarten and the 1st grade went out. Mrs. Weeg was one of the first ones out there. Then the 2nd and 3rd graders came out. Then the 4th and 5th came out. Last 6th. I was in Mrs. Hopkins class. When we got there they were inflating the balloon with cold air. Then they heated the air with a flame to make it stand up. It took a long time to do that. They needed a whole lot of people to help them. Mr. Bill Hummer was the one going up in the balloon with his wife. Before we knew it the balloon was straight up in the air. They let the strings go and up up up they went. In the sky the balloon looked fat like a red and yellow donut. It flew way high in the sky towards the sun. When some people looked up the sun made their eyes hurt. The balloon flew towards the woods. Mrs.Purnell said that they can only control up and down not side ways. Then some people got in a van and chased the balloon until it landed. It was really neat. We should thank Mrs.Weeg and Mrs. Hastings for doing all of this. Mrs. Weeg also has some pictures of the balloon. After we saw the balloon everyone went inside and got back to work.

Grade 6

Yesterday I watched a balloon take off from The Mason Dixon Com. The balloon was red and yellow. It was neat. I had never seen a balloon take off before. ActuallyI had never seen a hot air balloon at all before it got setup. I think it was real nice.

Grade 5

Yesterday was Balloonin' U.S.A. Mr. Hummer launched one of his hot air balloons from the sports complex that is across the street from our school. He and his wife went up in the balloon together. This was the first time I had ever seen a hot air balloon, let alone see one launched. It was a very good experience for me. My first reaction when I saw the balloon being blowm-up, was to jump on it! I think that it was really neat to see how high it went, but I would never ever do it! To me the balloon looked like a giant colorful cloud.

5th grade Mr. Polk

Yesterday was Balloonin' U.S.A. launch. Mr. and Mrs. Hummer went in the balloon. They went up into the air, but we do not know where they went. At first they were only putting cold air into the balloon. Then they were putting the fire into the balloon so they would be able to fly. After the balloon was full, they were getting ready to get into the balloon, but it was tilting to much. At last, they finally got into the gondola. After they got in the gondola Mr. and Mrs. Hummer took off in the balloon and flew up high in the skies!!!!!!!!!!!!

By: Ashley
Grade 5

Yesterday I saw something wonderful. It was A balloon. Not just any kind of balloon. A hot air balloon. It was Red and yellow. The red looked like fire. It was awesome. It belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Hummer. It was A big balloon with hot air.

This was the first hot air balloon I have ever seen. That is in real life. I have seen them in real life, But never so close. The balloon flew with the current of the air. Mr. Kevin could not fly his balloon because it was yucky outside.

Grade 5

Yesterday I saw a hot air balloon. Mr. & Mrs. Hummer drove it. The colors were orange & red. It was awesome. I never saw a real balloon take off like that. The fan sounded like a lawn mower.

Grade 5

Yesterday was a special day. We saw the hot-air balloon launch. Before we saw the people go up in the air they had to fill the balloon with air. The balloon had cold air and they had to fill it with hot - air. The balloon was colorfull. The colors were red and yellow. They went up in the sky. We saw them go higher and higher. The balloon looked smaller and smaller. We went back to class.

Grade 2

Yesterday we had a fun day. We saw the people blow the hot-air balloon. The people blew the hot-air balloon with a fan. It put cold air in the hot-air balloon. Then a flame came in the hot-air balloon and made the balloon come up. Mr. and Mrs. Hummer got in the gondola. They went up, up, and away. We saw them go away. I like the hot-air balloon.

Grade 2

I saw fire coming in the basket. I saw a fan blowing the balloon. The fan sounded like a lawn mower. I saw color on the balloon.

Your friend Kevin
Mr.Twilley's class
3 grade

I like when the fan blew the balloon. It sounded like a lawn mower. They got it half way off the ground, then they stopped the can and started the fire. Three men helped lift it up. They man pulled the burner and it flew up in the air. When it got up, it looked small. It was awesome when it went up.

3rd Grade Mr.Twilley

I saw a yellow and red balloon. Almost like fire. I saw a big old fan. The balloon blocked the sun. It was awesome. There was fire in the balloon and air.

Mr. Twilley's class

Yesterday Mr. Hummer rode in his hot air balloon. It looks like fire almost. When it got really high, it went the other direction. The hot air balloon was three stories high.

Mr.Twilley's class 3rd grade

Yesterday, a balloon came to our school and the balloon was red and yellow. The balloon was in the soccer field. When they put fire in the balloon, it blew up and the motor sounded like a lawn mower.

Your friend,
Mr.Twilley's class 3rd grade

The balloon came to our school. It was in the soccer field. The balloon is red and yellow. The fan sounds like a lawn mower.

Mr.Twilley 3rd Grade

A balloon came to Delmar Elementary School yesterday. It almost tipped over our class when they blew it up. The balloon was red with yellow flags on it. The balloon flew over the woods. It went high.

Your friend,

Yesterday I saw a balloon. It was yellow and red. The balloon sat like a lawn mower when they put the air in it. When they put the fire in the balloon, it looked like a forest was on fire,


The balloon was so big, that it blocked the sun and the fan sound like a lawn mower. And the balloon took so long to blow up and it looked like fire.


The balloon was yellow and red. And when it lifted up the balloon was up very high. I think that looks a little scarey.


Yesterday, a hot-air balloon was at our school. They blew the balloon up and the balloon started moving. And the sun was out and in my eyes, and the balloon blocked the sun and I got cold. And the balloon went off.


I saw the balloon get blown and the fan sounded like a lawn mower. It was cool when the balloon went up and blocked the sun.


The fan sounded like a lawnmower when they turned the fan on The balloon was three stories long. The colors were orange


Yesterday I saw a big balloon flying in the sky. It sounded like a lawnmower in a way. It almost fell down on the ground.


I like when the fan gave the balloon air. Then the balloon got bigger and bigger. Then they lifted the balloon up. Then this woman and this man went up so high, I couldn't see the balloon.


Yesterday when all the kids came to see the launching and the people were going to help Mr.Hummer. We heard big gas of fire. It scared me big time. Scarlet Yesterday I saw a big balloon. It was yellow and red. The carrier sounded like a lawn mower.


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Patricia A. Weeg
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