The last time I shared, I mentioned that we “The Crew”, let our enthusiasm get the better of us and we lost sight of the steps that would help us achieve our end goal. We jumped light years ahead and found ourselves gathering information and details about the materials/resources that would be need to send the beloved “George” to space and we forgot all about the “knowledge that would be needed to help us understand what we were preparing to do. Of course, with much open discussion we realized this fairly early on in the project and it has allowed us to backtrack and begin gather some of the “knowledge” of “space”, “DIY exploration” and”near-space ballooning”. As a group we looked specifically to some of the initial brainstorming to guide us in our search for the knowledge that would be needed to help us understand more about this project.
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The first couple of weeks saw the students scavenging for much information and determining what needed to be accomplished in order to get George on his way to space. The kids brainstormed many key items that would need to be considered if we were to be successful, top on that list was to be able to get the materials for construction of the “space shuttle”. Of course, our enthusiasm got the better of us all including us the teachers. We began more focused on the “materials” than the knowledge we would need to be able to send our package to “space”
Initial exploration had the students in the class identifying;
1. Things they already knew or thought they already knew,
2. Things they might need to learn about,
3. Steps they might need to take in order to achieve the end goal “Launching of George to Space”,
4. Materials that they thought would be needed to launch and,
5. Resources or People that might be able to help with the above.
Much of what you see here came from a reading of “Lego Man in Space” early in the year when there were just 4 students in the class, prior independent reading of space and space exploration, hands-on investigation of some materials we had and of course, some generalized reading from our #1 source of information, the WWW.
The thinking here would guide us as we would proceed with the project.
After some thought, a little research and a monday morning chat with a coffee in hand, we were ready to present the idea of sending George to space.
Of course the exact details are long forgotten, but that being said, later that day we posed the question, “How would you like to send George to space?” I recall the reactions quite clearly…and they can be explained in two words, shock and wonder. And there was a pause from the group that seemed like forever. Of course there was discussion that followed that included questions, concerns and wonders.
We sent them away that day with the idea that sometime in the near future “before school was out for summer” we would be sending George to space somehow. Determining how and what would be needed was their task over the next few days. They did not need to go in depth but rather gain…
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It was a late January day, in the Countryside Village Library Commons, the grade six class of Ms. Harper were about to dive into their exploration of space. This first step was the immersion, give them time to see what space was all about. Of course, on this day myself and Mrs. Simons our teacher-librarian/inquiry support joined the class, talking about what they were reading, asking questions and making some general observations about the things the students were saying. Inevitably this got us talking about space, and space exploration which included conversations about Lego Man in Space, Virgin Galactic and the Mars One project.
What happened next could not be predicted and I cannot recall exactly but I vaguely remember Susan saying “Let’s send George to Space!” My response, “that would be awesome” who were the students here the teachers or the kids. Standing there in awe was…
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