Debate is a very important and efficient tool to develop scientific understanding and to gain scientific knowledge. The clash between ideas has the potential to provide new points of views to the debaters and to the audience.
Our middle schoolers are very much familiar with the discussion and expressing themselves in scientific argumentation. On the other hand, a debate setup is a new concept for them. Moreover, performing an online debate session was a big challenge for all of us.
A middle school tradition
As an MYP-1 (Grade-6) science class tradition, students learnt how to debate and they performed their first debates in April as a part of Earth science unit. The main debate topic was global climate change or global warming and this year there was a bit of an adjustment in the topic due to Covid-19 situation.
For the sake of global climate…
“Some of the factories should remain closed even after the pandemic issue is solved.”
Our mission to the Moon continues in our astronomy club, which we have been conducting online during these weeks. As the second part of our ‘The Moon Mission’ project, our future astronauts designed their spacesuits.
During this second phase of our project, we implemented the ‘Let’s Design a Spacesuit’ lesson plan from Space Awareness website. This spacesuit part of our project took 3 weeks to be completed. You can find the lesson plan here.
The plan helped us so well through an inquiry-based lesson flow. In the first 2 weeks, students answered the questions and followed a route towards designing their spacesuits. They first made research and discussed the conditions in space and on the Moon which then led them to drawing a blueprint of their spacesuits.
Students presented their work during the third week of the designing phase. They drew their spacesuit design as a homework assignment and presented during our online class.
We implemented a lesson as an online lesson which was originally designed for classroom. Students learnt about natural disasters via an educational game (stopdisastersgame.org) and designed solutions for their imaginary villages. Their aim in the mentioned game is to protect their villages from different disasters.
Students spent an hour on playing stopdisastersgame which helps students understand the basic characteristics of natural forces and also provides some visual explanation about the preventive ways of negative consequences of natural disasters.
In our astronomy club, students designed their 3D rover which will fit best on the Moon’s surface and help scientists discover the Moon.
As a part of 2020 STEM Discovery Campaign, my students challenged themselves with a very tough mission; designing the best rover for the Moon’s surface. They constructed Moon surfaces by looking at the pictures of the Moon and changed the design of their rover accordingly.