Close
Bronxville Union Free School District

Sixth-Graders Build Models of Lunar Colonies

As part of an i2 Learning experience, Bronxville Middle School sixth-graders worked together to investigate what it takes to live on the moon. Throughout a weeklong investigation, they discovered how to supply water, food and air to the moon before building their own models of possible lunar colonies.
     
The students applied their STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills through a number of hands-on activities. Using a variety of supplies, they collaborated in groups to build their lunar colonies, which featured living quarters, lab/workspace, food supply, water treatment, power supply, thermal protection, breathable air, transportation, communication and waste facility.

“I was so impressed at the ingenuity of the students in their use of supplies,” said teacher Julia Brogan, who oversaw the projects along with teachers Christopher Lockwood and Frank Viggiani. “Although they had the same task and very similar supplies, each colony looked completely different. The students were totally engaged and authentically interested in finding the answers to their own inquiries regarding the moon and if it can sustain life.”

In addition to the physical structure, the students also created a slideshow presentation that explained their design and thinking behind their projects. “They needed to have valid scientific reasons for including the components and their purpose in order to sustain life on the moon,” Brogan said.

Lockwood said the learning experience allowed the students to collaborate and meet the challenges they were presented with.

“They worked through frustrations, re-grouped and tried again independently,” he said. “I was very impressed with their curiosity and willingness to adapt to a new environment.”

As a way to make a connection to their learning experience, the students went on a field trip to the Lower Hudson Valley Challenger Learning Center in Airmont where they took on the roles of astronauts, biologists, scientists, navigators and engineers. As part of their visit, they participated in a variety of hands-on simulation activities and mock space missions.

“What I found inspiring was the way the students worked together on planning the lunar colonies, building the colonies, and then writing up the information on Google slides,” Viggiani said.

After conducting extensive research and building a model of a lunar colony, sixth-grader Dallas Aganew said he thinks it’s possible to live on the moon.

“In the next 100 years, we might have a colony up there,” he said. “You have to know how to reuse stuff and you have to be innovative in order to live on the moon without having to keep replenishing your supplies.”

i2 Learning, an organization that works with world-class scientific and academic institutions, introduces students to the engineering design process and challenges them to think critically and solve problems. The learning experience was made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Bronxville School Foundation.

Some of the lunar colonies are currently on display at the Bronxville School Library.

  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image