IMTS Insider

IMTS Balloon Inspires Students

Category: Smartforce Nov 13, 2019

Last month, the IMTS hot air balloon competed in the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the largest balloon festival in the world.

During a break from the Fiesta, the IMTS balloon crew made a special visit to North Star Elementary to promote careers in manufacturing technology and inspire students to study STEM subjects. The presentation opened with how the balloon is made or manufactured, covered basic principles of physics, and gave the children an opportunity to interact with a scale model.

“This year we were lucky enough to have presenters from IMTS give the kids a really detailed presentation about hot air balloons at a first-grade level,” said teacher Chelsea Darrall.  

Explaining the basics of hot air balloon flight to young children is exciting for the seasoned pilots as well, according to Vicki Fogue, an IMTS balloon pilot and co-owner of Aerial Advantage. “We get to do a hands-on display and really ignite their imaginations,” she said.


Balloon Crew Chief Matthew Darrall added, “We really touch the hearts and minds of these students, and we think it is going to propel them into science and engineering fields.”

After a rewarding day at school, the IMTS balloon headed back to the Albuquerque Fiesta for a signature event, the Balloon Glow. Safely tethered to the ground, hundreds of balloons light up the night sky with a kaleidoscope of brilliant colors.

Hot air balloons are one of many manufactured products made with advanced technology that can be a launching point to start a conversation about the value of advanced manufacturing. Next time you hear a young person express admiration about something physical, such as an airplane, snowplow, or building, ask them how they think it’s made. You may open their minds to the possibility of pursuing a STEM education and a career in advanced manufacturing,

From September 14-19, 2020, the IMTS balloon will be at McCormick Place in Chicago again to greet visitors to North America’s largest manufacturing show.

Register Today!

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