As a culminating experience to their studies, sixth-graders worked together to discover what it takes to live on the moon and build their own models of possible lunar colonies from June 12-19. Throughout the investigation – which was part of a weeklong i2 Learning program that incorporated science, technology, engineering and math skills – the students participated in a number of collaborative hands-on activities.
Using a variety of supplies, the students worked in groups to build their lunar colonies, which featured living quarters, workspace, food supply, water filtration systems, solar power supply, thermal protection, breathable air, transportation, communication and waste facility, among others. They also explored different aspects of light and solar power and designed a model of a solar-powered car. One class created one colony together, with each student taking on the responsibility for creating one aspect of their build.
“The students used their knowledge from the lunar colony engineering challenges and knowledge of the moon from science class to build a lunar colony,” said science teacher Frank Viggiani, who led the project along with teachers Christopher Lockwood and Julia Brogan, as well as Director of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Mara Koetke. “The students took risks while solving the problems in the engineering workshops and had fun while being actively engaged in a six-day experience.”
Viggiani added that he was impressed by the students’ creativity and knowledge and the variety of projects put on display for parents at the end of the week.
As a way to make a connection to their learning experience, the students – who were accompanied by their teachers – 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, mock space missions and learned how to make rockets using straws.
In addition to Brogan, Lockwood, Viggiani and Dr. Koetke, teachers Elizabeth Fleisig, Vincent Iannelli, Annmarie Mazzio and Rachel Sugarman were instrumental in the success of the lunar colonies experience.
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.