Course formerly MS Space Station Academy.
Imagine training to be an astronaut: blasting off in a Soyuz rocket, floating in micro-gravity, exploring space and Earth from the International Space Station, and contributing to the collective knowledge base of our planet. The International Space Station (ISS) is one of humanity's most remarkable accomplishments. It is a sophisticated laboratory in space, pushing the boundaries of research in biology, materials science, medicine, chemistry and Earth observation. The ISS provides a fabulous context for students to explore topics in life science, physical science, earth science and engineering.
Space Station Academy is a semester-long science course that sends classes of students, or “cadets”, on a simulated mission to space. During their pre-flight training, cadets explore the physics and engineering of space travel, space suits and the ISS. Upon arrive on the ISS, cadets consider the effects of micro-gravity on the body, including skeletal structure and sensory systems. Cadets then turn their attention to Earth Science, as they explore Earth as a system, major geological processes and the impact of human activity on the planet, all while observing Earth from space. Before cadets return to Earth they are faced with the problem of fixing a solar panel on the ISS, requiring them to investigate key concepts in energy including thermodynamics, waves and electromagnetic radiation, before completing their virtual spacewalk. Once cadets make the brief, but dramatic trip back to Earth, they are asked to debrief, as all astronauts do. Their mission is complete once they submit a Science Mission Report, detailing how the important research done on the ISS across all areas of science is critical to our understanding of life back on Earth.
The immersive storyline of this 15-week science course was developed with support from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS). Students engage in interesting discussions each week, consider what living and working on the ISS would entail through various activities, and complete hands on activities and design challenges throughout the course. Looking back at Earth from space provides a powerful new perspective, and the innovations that make it all happen naturally spark interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The countdown has started. Join us for lift off!
This course is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards, with an emphasis on core disciplinary ideas, cross cutting concepts and science practices.
• Explore ISS as a cooperative project with more than 16 nations actively participating and as one of the greatest feats of human engineering.
• Experience the challenges of launch, orbit and re-entry, including the underlying science, technology, engineering and math.
• Engage with science research on the ISS, learning how it benefits life on Earth.
• Investigate Earth with cutting-edge Earth observation technology, including photographs taken by the astronauts.
• Investigate what parameters adversely affect human physiology in space and state how these parameters affect the human body.
• Monitor energy use on the ISS, learn about the conservation of energy, and how solar panels convert light to electrical energy.
• Explore how the force of gravity affects celestial bodies to cause one to orbit around the other.
Throughout their course of study, students will:
• Ask questions and define problems
• Plan and carry out investigations
• Analyze and interpret data
• Use mathematics and computational thinking
• Construct explanations and design solutions
• Engage in argument from evidence
• Obtain, evaluate and communicate information
This course requires student access to certain materials for hands on laboratory activities, as listed in the syllabus.
Please note that this course contains an end-of-course proctored exam. Instructions for students to identify an appropriate adult proctor are included in the course lessons.
Science - Earth and Space Science, Science - Life Science
7, 8, 9, 10
Gifted and Talented Middle School,High School
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MA NCES Code:
AdvancED, Certified by NCAA for initial-eligibility (VHS School Code: 221356), Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools