W.S. Mount Elementary School fifth-graders journeyed more than 70 years into the future to experience a space mission firsthand.
During the live e-mission “Moon, Mars and Beyond,” the
students made connections to their classroom math, language arts and science
lessons as they helped NASA locate and rescue a lost spaceship that was
orbiting one of the outer planets.
During the videoconference, which was run with a flight director at mission control from the Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling Jesuit University, the students worked in planet teams to analyze and compute answers to a variety of mathematical questions.
By examining different variables and making predictions, including how much food, oxygen and water would be needed for the mission, the fifth-graders were able to successfully accomplish the rescue. In addition to tying into the school’s math and science curricula, the activity also allowed students to practice their reading skills, think critically and logically, and learn how to communicate effectively with teammates.
“This was a fun and exciting way to learn about some of the topics we were talking about in math and science,” said fifth-grader Emma Fitzsimons. “I learned a lot about the different planets and enjoyed the fun math problems.”
Prior to the videoconference, the students researched each of the planets, learning about their distance from the sun, surface materials and other facts, before working in small groups to create posters depicting their findings. Additionally, classroom teachers focused on graphing skills and conducted simulated math problems.
Photo provided by the Three Village Central School District