Students were investigating the solar system, and in particular, comparing the liveability of MARS in the solar system to Earth using the Earth liveability index.
Based on their research, students created a large map in groups to represent the features of Mars using google Mars as an aid, and the liveability/non liveability on the planet.
They then had a choice to either program Spheros as a simulated Mars Rover to identify features on their map, or use Scratch to present animated information using sprites on the program to show the liveability of objects on the planet.
Program and Outcomes met
Key information about the program
The students entry events were videos of the original Lost in Space and then looking at the new Lost in Space and how digital technologies have changed.
Students inquired about the possibility of living on another planet. Their 1st benchmark was: what makes a planet habitable? As a result of their brainstorming they realised only Mars could be liveable. Students worked in pairs to constructed their own liveability index and then compared earth with Mars
A key event for students knowledge and engagement in this project was going to see the Mars Rover at the Powerhouse and visiting the Sydney Observatory straight after benchmark 1.
Google classroom also provided a great way of students sharing their own expertise in programming in Scratch or with the Spheros.
Students created Screencastifys to support other students.
The program was integrated with the English program which was looking at animation through the links of watching an animation on Planet unknown.
Reflection on the program so far
Teacher Lucy Messina reflects that she and the other teachers are pleased with the outcome from their beginning steps in the digital technologies programming area but will adjust things for next year based on their new skills and understanding around this syllabus and with programming.
Children at all levels were engaged and learning at all levels and teachers took it on board and happy to experiment and also let the students be experts at certain times. Having an integrated program with clear and purposeful connections to the digital technologies syllabus was also a key factor in the success of the learning program.