As part of their study of space, students in our 4th grade incorporated a design thinking approach as they created spacesuits to travel far, far away to a planet in our solar system. Students selected a planet to study, conducted i-Search projects on space researching our solar system and gathering important information about their particular planet. Then, students designed special features on their space suit that would enable them to complete a successful mission. They created design/blueprint illustrations of their spacesuit and then created a 3D model of the suit. Next they created a persuasive brochure, a booth, planet artifacts, and an advertising campaign to share at the end of unit culmination. This project incorporated skills such as analyzing and comparting research, note taking strategies, extracting key information, paraphrasing, drawing conclusions, and persuasive and creative writing.
The classes also visited Columbia Memorial Space Center to participate in hands-on learning experiences such as building rockets, coding Lego robotics, and a completing a realistic, challenging “Voyage to Mars simulation.