How can we get to the moon? What’s the procedure to launch into space? And what about flying in space and landing on the moon? This scenario is addressed to primary school students aged of 11-12 years old and is based on STEAM education methods. They will understand how a rocket engine work, the factors which affect a space launch and how it can be achieved. Students will also have the chance to construct their own rocket using simple materials.
Through the present learning scenario students will be able to: a) describe the whole procedure of launching into space, combining the previous and the new knowledge, and b) construct their own rocket using simple materials. They will work in groups and realize the importance of team work while having fun. As a result, they will develop their creativity through interesting constructions and innovative presentations of their work.
1st session (45 minutes): Using the brainstorming method, students express their ideas about launching into space. (Why we always get back on the ground no matter how high we jump and what speed we need to escape earth’s atmosphere?) (10 min.).
Students watch the videos “Launching into space”, “How to fly in space” and “Space landing on the moon”. Then they inflate a balloon and release it. Through this simple experiment they get an idea of how rocket engines work. (15 min.)
Students watch the video “How we launch things into space” and read the relevant information from NASA’s website https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/launching-into-space/en/ (10 min.). Then, they write their ideas on Padlet, trying to answer the question: “Finally, what we need to launch things into space?”
2nd session (45 minutes): Students create a paper rocket that can be launched from a soda straw and then they modify the design to make the rocket fly further. Instructions and worksheet. (35 min.)
In the end they complete a mini quiz to check their knowledge (10 min.)
The costruction of the rocket is described in the video below from NASA’s official education site: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/learn/project/make-a-straw-rocket/