It always surprises us teachers when students do something outside the guidelines. It’s easy to preach the outside-the-box cliche, but what happens when they color outside the lines – defy the rubric, so to speak?
I asked one of our presenters to help judge the entries from students. The contest challenge was to ‘design a spacesuit of the future.‘ No other limitations except nothing could be bought from a store. The scientist who designs satellites for a living, had a hard time picking 3 entries. So did my Specials team.
Some students interpreted the ‘rules’ and used recycled material. One took the whole astronaut approach, with a diorama. Some focused on the breathing apparatus – after,all they do hear that the air on Mars is not exactly fit for consumption! So here’s what we got. The 1st place went to an entry made entirely of water bottles and tin foil – to the right of the spacesuit (which was the prize.)
So today is Space Day! Our 6th year, Space Day is turning out to be quite an event!
This year we have two keynote addresses from NASA scientists:
Dr. Jim Rice, Co-Investigator on the Mars Exploration Rover Project. His work has involved mission experience working on the Mars Odyssey Orbiter and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Projects, the Mars landing site selection for every NASA Mars Mission since Mars Pathfinder in 1995. he is currently involved in manned missions back to the Moon and Mars.
Dr. Ashwin Vasavada, is the Deputy Project Scientist working on the mission of the Mars Curiosity rover. He helps lead an international team of over 400 scientists. His work has involved geologic studies of Mars with regard to surface properties, volatility, and climate history.
Other sessions will be specific to grade levels:
We could not have done this without the support of:
Just announced plans for Space Day at Salt River Elementary – our 6th year!
As the event grows bigger each year, my thanks to those who will be supporting it:
Space science is a fascinating field, and gives us who focus on STEM an ability to widen the lens. Consider some of the recent developments
I’m not talking about the coding part of the site, but the navigation, layout and content. So much has changed since I worked on web sites and web content ten years ago. Especially with site builders at Wix and Weebly, or even GoDaddy.
It’s a quick way to build navigation tabs, work on color and fonts, and eventually embed hyperlinks and video.
Here is some of the work of 6th grade, building a site for Space Day, the school event we just concluded.
Likewise the 5th grade is working on a website for Freedom Tower, a project they began in September.
Later they would be using Photoshop for image manipulation, and create and edit shapes and buttons etc. Much later, when we move into audio recordings, and podcasts, I may have them return to their web sites and add voice files using Audacity.
But for now they experiment with bevels, shadows, and other effects that enable navigation.
Design is not just for 5th and 6th Grade. To address the Arizona CCRS Standard, S1.C4.PO 1: “Use digital creativity tools to create original works” I let 2nd grade students work with shapes, colors and also contrast and perspective.
Here is one student’s poster for the same event, using Microsoft Word.