Edwardsburg Middle School students learning about Mars
Have you ever wondered how NASA controls the Mars Rover?
How did the Mars Pathfinder get its name? Should humans or robots explore outer space? How would you weigh on Mars?
These are just a few of the questions eighth-graders at Edwardsburg Middle School considered during a cross-curricular project designed to provide students with a hands-on opportunity to code a robot in a lab designed to simulate various terrain on Mars.
Students in Rob Wright’s science classes worked in small groups using the SPRK Lab app on their phones to link to a SPHERO robot and then try various obstacle courses designed to challenge their problem solving and cooperative learning skills.
Students worked together through trial and error to work their way through beginning, intermediate and challenging obstacles courses that were designed to reflect surface challenges on Mars.
In Erin Souchick’s social studies class, students learned about a Mars rover that was named after Sojourner Truth.
Students read a biography on Truth, created a mini-book reflecting their knowledge, and then used their Chromebooks to design and present their proposal for a memorial for Truth.
Leslie Zech’s English classes debated whether we should send humans and resources to Mars or spend that money here on Earth.
Students researched on their Chromebooks, had class discussions, and wrote argumentative essays reflecting their research and position.
David Cobb’s math class discussed the diameter of Mars, comparing it to the size of the U.S. Students also determined what they would weigh on Mars.
Each class activity provided students with an opportunity to build on the knowledge they gained in science and provided opportunities to expand their knowledge.