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

Posted by on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

Today we launched toward new learning in the solar system, journeying all the way to Jupiter! We began our day, as we always do, in Morning Meeting. Each morning, we answer a would you rather question and play a game or do a fun space-related, team-building activity. Today was cosmic! Students wrote their names on paper, crumbled it up into a ball, and catapulted it into orbit like an asteroid. Students used the paper balls to greet classmates; you can imagine how much fun it was tossing fake asteroids around the room! 

Our class created their own mnemonic device to remember the planets’ order. Ask your cadet about their creativity! Then, throughout the day, we visited many planets. At Mercury, we discussed the connection between mythology and the Milky Way. Cadets even wrote their own myths for a planet or constellation of their choosing; this would be a wonderful thing to encourage your cadet to retell at dinner tonight, remaining true to the oral tradition of passing down myths. Ask your cadet to break down the parts of the myth: How did they include natural phenomena? Show good and evil? What connection does their myth have to the real space object? For example, Mars is named after the Roman god of war because of its distinctly red surface. At Venus, we analyzed by comparing Venus to Mercury.  

At Mars, we continued the pondering of life on another planet and heard from real NASA scientists about the possibilities. We had a mini-debate. Ask your cadet to explain their position with evidence. What did the NASA scientists say that supported their position or contradicted it? We also built Mars Rovers and learned about their roles in planet exploration; you might have your cadet show you the features of their rover tonight! There was some frustration with rovers that didn’t work as designed. We recalled the Engineering Design Process and remembered that sometimes, we have to tinker, edit, ask questions, and try again. Here is the lesson we followed from NASA to create the rovers and a YouTube video of another STEM teacher working through the steps It’s likely your Cadet will want to work with you to modify their rover so it jumps or moves forward correctly! 

Tomorrow, we will visit Jupiter and learn about Hubble. Consider visiting this website to see what Hubble saw on your birthday: We will watch a video of Jupiter’s rotation from Hubble and discuss the role of satellites. It wouldn’t be a journey to Jupiter without a trip through an Asteroid Belt. Cadets will learn the difference between asteroids and comets, play a virtual Asteroid Belt escape game, and simulate comet movement with another team-building activity.  

Tomorrow, we’ll nosedive into navigation and problem-solving, visit several more planets, and settle the debate of Pluto’s planetary status in an Intergalactic Court of Law.  

Comet back tomorrow for another fantastic day! 

Ms. Whiting