Every year, Clark Middle School’s sixth grade science classes take an educational field trip to The Challenger Learning Center, located in Hammond, Indiana. During this field trip the students go on a simulated space mission and are assigned specific jobs for said mission.
“The mission we choose to go on is the Mission to the Moon. Once the students arrive, they are ‘NASA astronauts’. Upon arrival, the students are briefed on their duties and half of the students go into Mission Control and the other half of the students go into the spacecraft,” Kim BeDuhn, Science, said.
Not only does this simulation teach students about the duties of a real space mission, it teaches them the importance of teamwork.
“The students must work together, complete a wide variety of tasks, and often must overcome "emergency" situations,” Kim BeDuhn, Science, stated.
But before the kids went on the actual field trip, they did some activities in class to help them practice for the mission and jobs they were assigned, one was having them tell their partner where to color in specific boxes, without having the partner, who was coloring, see the actual picture, and see if the images matched each other in the end.
“The activity served 2 purposes - the students had to communicate effectively, to get their partner to draw the exact picture that they had, and it also required the students to use coordinate pairs, which are skills they will need for the space mission,” Kim BeDuhn, Science, said.
Since during the entire third quarter the classes are covering a space unit, this far-out field trip tied right in.