Get physical on the Moon

The Solar System and the Moon specifically have inspired generations of children and adults alike. With this in mind, I approached the Aerospace in the classroom MOOC with great excitement.

Teaching pupils about the connection between space and the classroom was challenging but very rewarding. I approached the idea with a plan to make a learning scenario that would be interesting, fun and educational.

It was my hope that the students would learn about life on the Moon, what would be necessary for them to survive on the Moon with regards to food and water. They would be introduced to the concept of physics on the Moon by combining the activity of healthy living and sports while living on the Moon.

The image is the author’s own –(Attribution CC-BY)

Four lessons were involved:

  • Lesson 1 concentrates on introducing the pupils to conditions needed to live on the Moon.
  • Lesson 2 concentrates on the aspect of connecting physics and sports to life on the Moon.
  • Lesson 3 is dedicated to documenting the activities.
  • Lesson 4 is related to presentation of results and evaluation.

The resources on the Airbus website were an excellent and motivational starting point.

Students were introduced to the subject of life on the Moon. Would it be possible to live on the Moon and what are the basic necessities needed to ensure life on Moon?

Answers to the questions are written in a class Padlet.

Students watch Airbus Foundation Discovery Space videos that give basic information about the Moon:

a)            Waste management on the Moon

b)            Food on the Moon

c)            Air on the Moon

d)            Water on the Moon

In groups of four, each group was allocated one of the topics to research on their devices based on the above four Airbus videos. They document their findings on a mind map and upload the findings on a class Padlet.

Sports activities are important for our mental and physical wellbeing. How would it be possible to do sports on the Moon? As there is no oxygen on the Moon how would these activities be carried out and what elements do we have to take into consideration? Each group is assigned one of the two topics:

Activity 1) How fast could you run on the Moon?

Activity 2) How high could you jump on the Moon?

A selection of pictures from the project practice– The pictures are the author’s own –(Attribution CC-BY)

They were asked to watch videos and were then assigned tasks and responsibilities within their groups for preparation of the next lesson.

Instructions for preparation given to the pupils: take a long piece of brown wrapping paper, mark increments of 10cm starting from the bottom and working your way up to the top.

The image is the author’s own –(Attribution CC-BY)

Give each team a prepared table on which they will mark the measurement for each team member’s jump (three jumps per pupil), the median for each jump, their height and the proportion of the median to height.

Ask your students if they know what gravity is and how it affects them on Earth.

1.    Instructions:

  • As you stand facing the paper on the wall, hold a marker in your hand.
  • Reach high above your head with the marker and make a mark which will be your starting point.
  • Take a small step back and jump as high as you can, making a mark on the paper at the same time.
A selection of pictures from the project practice– The pictures are the author’s own –(Attribution CC-BY)
  • Measure the distance between your starting mark and your jumping mark. This is how high you jumped. Write down your measurement.
  • Repeat this action three times.
  • Calculate the median of these jumps.

2.  After every child who wants to try has had a turn to jump, the pupils calculate how high their jump would have been on the Moon. They multiply their measurement by 6.

3. The resulting Moon jump measurement is how high their feet would be off the ground if they had jumped on the Moon.

4. The pupils fill in the worksheet.

A selection of pictures from the project practice– The pictures are the author’s own –(Attribution CC-BY)

In their groups one member measures a ten meter distance and determines the sequence by which each team member will run the distance.

As each team member runs the distance of 10 metres three times, their results are documented on the worksheet.

The image is the author’s own –(Attribution CC-BY)

Each team prepared a presentation in the tool of their choice (Wakelet, PPT, Padlet, Genially) documenting their work and findings and a short quiz in Kahoot or Quizziz for evaluation purposes at the end of the final lesson.

The pupils loved the lesson and claimed it was one of their favourites. This enthusiasm and joy is what makes teaching worthwhile. Thank you to the European Schoolnet Academy and the Aerospace in the class MOOC. We love you to the Moon and back.

5 thoughts on “Get physical on the Moon

  1. Wow!! Great Learning Scenario! It seems you had fun and learn a lot at the same time. Congratulations.

    • I also took to Aerospace in class MOOC. Airbus resources have been a great discovery.

  2. I also took to Aerospace in class MOOC. Airbus resources have been a great discovery.

  3. The MOOC was inspirational and my pupils loved the lesson I compiled. I am glad you all enjoyed reading my post.

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