The Grade 9s were treated to a special visit from NASA (Wallops Visitor Center – big thank-you!). The students participated in the program MISSION EXPLORERS: DESIGN A SPACECRAFT.
Together the Grade 9s mission was to design spacecraft that would study the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere of earth. NASA guided the students step-by-step on how to design a spacecraft beginning with a review of the different types of space technology such as rovers, scientific balloons, and satellites. The students then decided the power source for the spacecraft and the scientific instrument such as a camera or magnetometer. The students also incorporated a communication device to send signals to earth! The students chose between an antenna and an orbiter relay system. The students were ready to sketch their own spacecraft design!
After our visit, the students transformed their designs into 3-D models! During cross-curricular, the students are learning about climate change from space. The satellites in space collect important information about the planet we live on together including how our environment is experiencing pattern shifts. The students carefully thought about how to build their satellites, questioning how to attach antenna and robotic arms that can collect samples. The students experimented with a variety of materials from cardboard to clay to sponges to popsicle sticks imagining what they could be! The spacecraft reflect a diversity of applied design ideas! Next stop, SPACE!
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