Space exploration fascinates many people. The prospect of a return of Man to the Moon and, potentially, of a mission to the planet Mars, has something to arouse interest. On August 25, we learned that “The Global Exploration Roadmap project, built by more than ten space agencies, includes a return to the Moon within 20 years. Canada is one of the 14 agencies of the international coordination group for space exploration, which began to draw up this strategy in 2007. "" The project therefore foresees human missions in the vicinity and on the surface of the Moon until 2030, after which the goal will be to reach the red planet. "
So let's take some time to familiarize ourselves with the various elements surrounding this news.
At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- Use a technological means to read a news article;
- Explain the general context surrounding the progress of the lunar missions in the 1960s and 1970s;
- Use an online application to share with teammates;
- Use an online application to create a timeline;
- And more!
ACTIVITY 1: Learn about the news
To introduce the activity, ask students if they would ever like to go to space. Listen to their responses and be sure to encourage them to explain why, etc. And as long as they go into space, would they just orbit the Earth? Would they want to go to the Moon, and to Mars?
Then inform them that those with an interest in space exploration could make it a career choice as it is expected that Man will return to the Moon in a fairly close horizon, and possibly even to Mars!
To learn more, invite them to read the following article:
An ambitious space project could send a first Canadian to the moon
Released on Radio-Canada, by The Canadian Press, August 25, 2013.
- Reading can be done on an electronic tablet, on the computer screen in the lab, all together on the interactive whiteboard, on homework, etc.
- Use the online application Readability to strip the page of all the superfluous and make it easier to read!
- Invite the students to write down in a collaborative document what surprises them the most. To produce the collaborative document, you can use a service like Google drive (make a new text document), Cacoo, Padlet or GroupZap.
ACTIVITY 2: Is it that far?
Using the presentation medium of their choice, in teams of 4, students will have to find a way to illustrate the distance between the earth and the International Space Station, the Moon and the planet Mars. Ideally, they should indicate the time it takes to travel between each destination. Be careful, they must keep and cite their sources!
- Once the creations are made, a few students could take care of photographing them and posting on an account Flickr special for the class, or any other means of dissemination of works of their choice.
ACTIVITY 3: A small step for Man ...
In 1969, the American Neil Armstrong became the first human being to walk on the moon. Invite students to relive that moment with this 4-minute video recording that shows Armstrong's descent on lunar soil, narrated by NASA. It may be interesting to combine this with a listening comprehension activity in English.
Watch the video by clicking here.
To learn more about the context of the time, the Apollo program and the unfolding of the Apollo 11 mission, take the time to watch the Brainpop animated capsule (6 minutes) on the subject, by clicking here. It also talks about the rescue of the astronauts from the Apollo 13 mission.
If the topic is of interest to young people, why not do a little more research on the Apollo program and find out how many missions have successfully taken men to the moon.
- The process involves doing an effective search on the Web, then building a timeline that presents the different lunar missions.
- To build the timeline, student teams could use online services such as Lignedutemps.qc.ca (for Quebec), or Dipity.com or TimeToast.
By the way, what is it, a timeline?
Some quiz questions ...
1. Who said "A small step for man ...", and what is the end of the sentence?
2. What had astronaut Alan Sheppard smuggled into the moon?
3. Which living thing was the first to orbit the earth?
More about the magazine
Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, is dead
2012, on France24
Space project could send a Canadian to the moon