Up, up and away


IT was with a whoosh of flame into a balloon above that pupils at a rural school were able to view the frosty Southland landscape below them.

Rimu Full Primary School pupils, including Jaye Ward (10, pictured), were treated to a hot air balloon experience early last Thursday morning, and pilot Andrew Parker taught them about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).

Mr Parker’s project, Flying High, was aimed at promoting the importance of education, innovation and sustainability to years 5-10 students at low-decile and rural schools throughout New Zealand.

He hoped to use his hot air balloon and educational activities as an interactive way for children to create a personal connection between careers and STEAM learning.

The four-month school roadshow was headed to about 30 schools with more than 6000 pupils, from Kaitaia, in the far north, to Invercargill experiencing the programme.

Last Thursday’s event was Mr Parker’s first at a South Island school.

The children were excited, and some nervous, about the experience but judging by Jaye’s smile, it was a good one.

He enjoyed it a lot and said he was definitely keen to try it again.