Idea to Explore
These ideas are based on the theme of designing a new sustainable planet in the context of moving to space.
Excerpts from the trailer for the film ‘The Martian’ (2015) were used to hook and excite the pupils. A man is stranded on Mars, to survive he must recreate Earth’s resources. What do we mean by resources? How would we recreate these on our very own planet if we had to move from Earth?
The pupils were told that the world we are living in today may be in danger of slowly burning out, because of consumption, overpopulation and poor recycling. Moreover, the pupils were asked whether they knew other reasons why our planet might die.
Next, they were invited by NASA to help them do new research. NASA wanted to create a new planet and they needed ideas to create a new sustainable planet.
The class was divided into four groups. Two groups researched transport to our new planet, the other two groups researched the planets in our solar system.
Afterwards, the pupils talked about their experiences during this exercise. Each group came forward and talked about what they had learned.
In the developing phase, the pupils made sketches of their new sustainable planet. They chose the materials they wanted to work with and created a name for their new planet.
Subsequently, the pupils presented what they had made. Every group came forward and talked about their experiences considering the questions:
Was it hard to make a new sustainable planet?
Was it easy to make a new planet out of recycled materials?
Have you paid attention to your own ecological footprint?
How did you make sure, that your planet is sustainable?
The pupils shared their action plans and filmed their new planets and space shuttles in a Skype session. Additionally, they provided information about their planet, its name, and why it was sustainable. Finally, everything was uploaded to a common platform for pupil sharing, eTwinning.
Reflections and questions
The point of this project was to let the pupils think about the way they are living right now.
How could they change their habits and could they recycle more to help the planet?
Do we take the resources on our planet for granted? How can we take more care? And what does a planet need for us to survive?
- Informative books
- Worksheet with questions
- VR goggles
- Recycled materials: bottles, cardboard box, paper, magazines.
- Paints, shapes, straws, pictures of planets
STEM to STEAM Analysis
Science: Researching gravity, availability of water, atmospheres and rocket ships
Technology: Creating plans to ensure our new planet is sustainable, VR goggles to explore space themes
Engineering: Building our own planet.
Art: Decorate the planet
Mathematics: Comparing the size of the planets in our solar system