Space . . . the Final Frontier
Third grade students have been on a six-week voyage through space, as part of their IB unit of inquiry, “Out Of This World.” The central focus was how scientific advances in space impact humanity. In class, they have studied about the solar system and not only its current composition, but how our perception of and knowledge about the planets has changed through history. They chose individual planets to design and construct, then shared their findings and creations with their classmates.
In addition to classroom time, this unit offered the students a great deal of exploration in the science lab, where they learned about the phases of the moon and the composition of constellations. One of the most exciting activities was the culminating project in MakerLab. Their mission? Design a rover that would traverse one of the terrestrial planets: Mercury, Venus, or Mars. Check out Liam, Brady, Rachel and Sam's intergalactic plans to explore Mars, Venus, and Mercury here:
You may see samples of the rovers on display in the elementary school media center.
The Out Of This World unit is part of the IB Primary Years Programme Transdisciplinary Theme: How the World Works. Throughout the PYP (taught to children ages three – fifth grade), the transdisciplinary themes focus on issues that span subject areas. How the World Works is an inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.