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Summer SAVY, Session 4 Day 2, Space Academy (Whiting) (3rd – 4th)

Posted by on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

Welcome back, astronauts! Again, we began our day with a thrilling message from NASA. Students have been accepted as Cosmic Cadets and are preparing for their launch into space. Much learning and many challenges are ahead, including preparation for a presentation at the end of our course in the Space Exposition!  

Our key learning today includes diving deeper into the Scientific Method and the concept of gravity. Because astronaut training includes flight training, we learned about the four forces of flight – thrust, lift, drag, and gravity. We analyzed these forces at work in airplanes, studied cross-sections of wings, and replicated the forces in a mini-experiment with paper wings. Cadets highlighted their expertise by creating a one-pager showing how another form of air travel works and which flight forces are at play in the aircraft’s movements. This Flight One-Pager will be included in cadets’ Space Exposition presentations at the end of the week to demonstrate understanding of flight!  

Upon their commission, cadets designed some crucial elements of a space expedition: their space suits and space shuttles. First, we read rich texts from NASA about the evolution of space suits over time. We studied components and elements of space suits to learn from the experts. Then, cadets designed their own space helmets and created a model. You can ask your cadet tonight to explain their design and the helmet’s three best features.  

We virtually toured many locations, including the Kennedy Space Center and the International Space Station today. Our tour of the ISS sparked questions about how astronauts live in space. Cadets sought answers through the Scientific Method and rotated through stations to see how astronauts sleep, exercise, eat, and even use the toilet (This one got lots of laughs!) in space. 

Tomorrow, cadets began space exploration with “visits” to the sun and the moon. At the sun, we will explore its role on Earth; a huge area of impact for the sun is the water cycle! We will apply the Scientific Method to a water cycle experiment to determine the sun’s role. At the moon, we will explore the phases of the moon with a moon simulation. Before our exploration, we will watch a space shuttle launch and make observations. We will connect its movements to our knowledge of flight forces studied today. Then, we will brainstorm our own shuttle designs using a creativity strategy called SCAMPER. Cadets will draw blueprints for their “Scampered Shuttles” and write a comparative paragraph about the differences between the original design and their improved ones.  

If you want to extend learning tonight, you can discuss this question at the dinner table: Based on your learning about gravity and life in space, how do you think an astronaut would wash their hands? You can also read another space poem, listed in yesterday’s blog post, or you can watch a video of the moon landing and read/watch Kennedy’s address to the nation. How do the poems show exploration? What does Kennedy believe about exploration? 

Tomorrow, the exploration continues with new learning related to these topics: Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter; mission control; the Hubble telescope; and asteroids and comets.  

Moonwalk back into class tomorrow for more galactic learning! 

Ms. Whiting