Frazer Students Conduct Planetary Exploration

     Published on 3/27/17   Tagged under:    District News    Academics    Frazer K-8 School   

Frazer students are building rovers as part of a Planetary Exploration project.Frazer students worked together to build rovers that could capture video clips and rock and mineral specimens when they are dropped onto another planet.
 
Or rather, they will replicate landing rovers on another planet within their Frazer auditorium, thanks to funding from an SCSD Educational Foundation grant!
 
Sixth-graders are taking part in a year-long cross-curricular study of Planetary Exploration, led by technology teacher Scott Daley. In technology class, students were tasked with designing and constructing their rovers and a module that would allow them to be dropped (from the auditorium balcony) onto ‘another planet.’
 
But for this project, the learning goes beyond just the one subject. In science, students will become specialists on the environment of their chosen planet. In math, they will calculate the rate of descent for their landing module. In art, they will design team logos for their mission. In social studies, they will propose a plan outlining what system of government they would establish if they were to colonize their planet. In ELA, students will write an essay detailing why they should be selected to receive a scholarship to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama!
 
To begin their studies, students broke up into small groups, selecting one planet for their focus.
 
“We picked Neptune,” Gianna Threat said. “It’s the second farthest planet from the sun, and it’s the windiest planet!”Frazer students are building rovers as part of a Planetary Exploration project. 

“We picked Jupiter because it’s the biggest planet and because we knew some interesting facts about it,” Anthony Pham explained. “It has lots of rings and lots of colors to it. Building the robots is kind of hard because you have to find the right pieces for it to come together. We’ll test it out to see if it could survive on Jupiter!”
 
The idea behind this comprehensive project is to help students see how technology connects with their other academic subjects.
 
“My overarching objective is to excite the students about engineering and technology,” Mr. Daley explained. “It has been a game changer in the level of success of some of my struggling students. For example, I had one student who initially refused to work with his partners and would not participate. Eventually, I was able to encourage him that he was a valued member of the team and he performed his role wonderfully. In his ticket-out-the-door assignment one day, he wrote: ‘In the past, I didn’t really like my role. But I realized it doesn’t matter what role you’re doing. It’s working together that matters.’ The hands-on, problem-solving and collaborative nature of the project makes for an engaging environment!”
 
Good luck to all of our new solar system and STEM experts… we can’t wait to hear how your planetary landings go! This is one of 20 projects funded by the SCSD Educational Foundation in 14 schools this year, totaling $53,000. Thank you to the Educational Foundation for making projects like this possible! 

To view a video of this grant project, created by ITC Media Communications teacher Jeff Newell and his students, click here >>>