By Brian Hunter and Sarah Balchin
Throughout November and December PYP 4 have been on an exciting journey through time and space! The combination of our year long Units of Inquiry into the Past, Present and Future, Inspirational People, and the current discrete Unit of Inquiry into The Earth and the Universe has allowed us to take both a scientific and historical view of space exploration.
We kicked off our unit with a trip to Vattenhallen Science Centre where we managed to have the whole centre to ourselves, meaning we had safe access to the planetarium, the energy workshop and the chemistry lab. The students loved this experience and came out of the planetarium with a huge amount of questions burning to be answered through classroom research.
Students have investigated the history of space exploration, reading and interpreting biographies of some of the world’s most famous historical astronomers from Tycho Brahe to Carl Sagan and some of the world’s bravest space explorers including Yuri Gagarin, Neil Armstrong and even Barbara Morgan, the first teacher in space!
In the final stages of this unit, the students have split into small groups to each investigate different celestial bodies. Our groups have investigated the mysteries of the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, The Asteroid Belt, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and the Kuiper Belt Objects. The collective knowledge of the class will soon be shared through our very own planetarium exhibition including model planets, comparative carroll or venn diagrams, dioramas, original works of art, posters, and google slides presentations.
It is rather unfortunate that due to the current restrictions we will be unable to invite all of the school community to participate in the exhibition. However, the students have not been shy in sharing their knowledge with anyone who will listen and we are certain that the students have sparked an interest in science which they will carry with them through the coming year and who knows what the future holds, maybe some of this years PYP 4 might even travel into space themselves one day.