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Space Spectacles
Pamela Galus

Unit created on 10/11/1999 EST.
Last modified 2/19/2001 10:53:56 AM EST.

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Fundamental Understandings (help)

Students will develop background knowledge about planet and the solar system so that they will be able to comprehend basics of the space program as future voters and decision makers including a concept of diameter, space relations and magnitudes (distances from the sun). Students will use the internet to search for information and use that information to compose a written report which summarizes information they have located. Students will be placed in collaborative teams by interest to prepare an oral presentation on the planet they have selected. Students pose as real estate agents to sell their planet and recommend activities.

Technology ISTE Standards (info) 

Routinely and efficiently use online information resources to meet needs for collaboration, research, publications, communications, and productivity. Collaborate with peers, experts, and others to contribute to a content related knowledge base by using technology to compile, synthesize, produce, and disseminate information, models, and other creative works

Information Literacy Standards (info) 

Standard 1 Accesses information efficiently and effectively, as described by the following indicators: recognizes the need for information: recognizes that accurate and comprehensive information is the basis for intelligent decision making; formulates questions based on information needs; identifies a variety of potential sources of information; develops and uses successful strategies for locating information.

Relevance (help)

Our students of today are our voters of tomarro; our students will be making important decisions regarding the future of the space program and all students need to understand space basics to comprehend the problems encountered in space travel. Students need to develop computer skills necessary to function in a technologically literate society. Additionally, students need to develop the social and collaborative skills necessary to function effectively in the work place.

Assessment (help)

Students will be able to search the internet independently to access sites that have current and reliable information on the planet in our solar system that they have selected and use that information to produce a preliminary, factual write up. Working with another student that selected the same planet, students should be able to prepare an oral presentation utilizing the information they have selected and create an ususual idea that requites they utilize the conditions on their planet. Students should be presented with an usual and totally unworkable plan: The Alaskan pipeline was created so that fossil fuels could be transported over vast space which was widely unpopulated. The same concepts could be used to build a pipeline from the sun to the Earth to bring hydrogen to Earthly storage tanks that could then be used to generate inexpensive electricity to solve the worlds energy needs. Students should be able to find multiple problems with such a suggestion by applying their learning: the sun is so hot it would melt whatever the pipeline was created from, the distance is so vast nothing could be that long, there is no way to get the pipeline to the sun and even if you did what would you attach it to, the Earth rotates which would cause the pipeline to become tangled, the sun rotates. Additionally, there are ethical issues involved such as the fact that even if we could develop the planets or run such a pipeline, do we have the right? Who owns space? The Russians? They spend more time in space than we do, don't they? When Earth explorers landed on a continent they claimed the whole thing for their country - could the United States claim a planet as our own. Should we, or anyone else, be allowed to leave space debre such as satilites out in space when they are no longer useful or should we be required to bring back any equipment sent out.

Components (help)

Space Basics instruction should be provided as a means to develop familiarity and provide background information necessary to understand the information students will be accessing. Students should learn technology skills necessary for a successful search using a variety of technology sources. Students should then be able to synthesize the information located into an independent writen report. Students will then be paired by interest and share information to prepare an oral presentation on their planet and suggest some way to develop the planet taking the conditions of their planet into consideration. To further assess learning, students should be presented with an ususual suggestion that is not now feasible so that they can apply their learning to argue down the suggestion.

URLs (help)


Workforce Competencies (info) (help)

Students use creative thinking skills to generate new ideas, make the best decisions, recognize and solve problems through reasoning, interpret symbolic data, and develop efficient techniques for lifelong learning. Students display responsibility, self-esteem, sociability, self-management, integrity, and healthy decision-making. Students work cooperatively to successfully complete a project or activity. Students establish credibility with their colleagues through competence and integrity, and help their peers achieve their goals by communicating their feelings and ideas to justify or successfully negotiate a position, which advances goal attainment. Students appreciate their own culture and the cultures of others, understand the concerns and perspectives of members of other ethnic and gender groups, reject the stereotype of themselves and others, and seek out and utilize the views of persons from diverse ethnic, social and educational backgrounds.

Planet Project (lesson 2)
Space Basics (lesson 1)
Pipeline Project (lesson 3)

Copyright 1997-2003
Career Connection to Teaching with Technology
USDOE Technology Innovation Challenge Grant
Marshall Ransom, Project Manager
All rights reserved.

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