CorePlanner Blog

3/21/2016

A Classroom Space Station


Making Science Relevant to Students’ Lives 

 

What does it take to live on the Moon or even Mars?

 

Erin Tranfield suggests an interdisciplinary teaching activity to get your students thinking about this – and learning a lot of science along the way.

Planet Earth is able to meet the basic living requirements for trillions of organisms, including humans. The oxygen we need is in the air around us, the atmosphere protects us from radiation, drinking water can be found in rivers and lakes, and food can be readily found in most places.

On Earth, cycles exist where one species’ waste products are used by another species, so that the waste products do not build up to high levels: an example of this is the complex carbon cyclew1 in which oxygen and carbon dioxide are alternately produced and used.

Getting your students thinking about habitat design on the Moon or Mars can be a good way to consider the challenges of living and working in space as well as illustrating the critical role that the cycles on Earth play in the survival of all organisms.

It is an activity suitable for students of all ages (see the suggestions for different age groups, below). The introduction to the activity will take about 2 hours, with at least a further 2 hours to design the habitat, depending on its complexity. To build the habitat could take 5-15 hours, depending on how many students are involved and how complex a habitat they are building. If the students are really enthusiastic about the idea, they might want to invest even more time.

From Science in School, The European Journal for Science Teachers

See more at: 

http://www.scienceinschool.org/2011/issue19/habitat#sthash.tcKpwGtj.dpuf

http://www.scienceinschool.org/2011/issue19/habitat