I grew up with a dad who loved – LOVED – Star Trek. Now that I am an adult that love of space travel and Star Trek translated over to me. I was ecstatic when the new movies came out and now I frequently watch The Orville (currently have a new episode to watch on my DVR). So, when I started thinking of a transformation to do for Astronomy – STAR TREK was it. I will be honest and say that I was torn between Star Trek, Star Wars and Lost in Space; but in the end, Star Trek won!
I was fortunate to get a Donor’s choose project funded for this transformation. Thus I got a lot of stuff via Amazon to decorate my room. I’ll show you the pictures and then list/link the things I used.
I set up my desks in a ‘U’ formation -using groups- and I placed my captain’s chair in the middle. If you have seen the show, then you will get my vision. I borrowed some backdrops from our school yearbook staff – they did star wars at the last dance and had a space backdrop.
The scene setters and window backdrops were purchased on Amazon. I made my beam me up Scotty area using cake plates and table cloths from Walmart and the Dollar Store.
Links to Scene Stuff:
What Students Did:
Students were given a crew badge and this assigned them to a group – alpha, beta, charlie or delta. Then they completed a team activity to dock their spacecraft and board the ship. I then allowed them onto the ship with the theme music playing in the background. I showed them some videos of Star Trek missions through the ages (5 minutes max). We then got an alert that we had engine failure. Students had to work through a series of tasks to get the engines back online. We called it our evasive action plan…
Procedure 1 – Calculate Gravity (Gravity and Inertia)
Procedure 2 – Identity which planet is most similar to… (Planets in our Solar System)
Procedure 3 – Identify the space objects headed to the planet (Asteroids, Meteors, and Comets)
Procedure 4 – Rocket Vocabulary Codes and Phet Lunar Lander (Astronomy Vocabulary)
If you are a Star Trek Geek like me you may want to try something like this with your students. It was very engaging and they really loved using the Phet Lunar Lander!
Let me know what you do to boost engagement during Astronomy in the comments below! Until my next post…