The next frontier
The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, in 2015, focused on the topic of human spaceflight. The activities linked to the clips from lecture 3 are as follows:
Step 1: Starter to link to pupil experience
Introduce the topic of extremely long journeys by starting with talking about pupils’ greatest or most extreme experiences.
Step 2: Develop through imagination the concept of ‘space tools’ capable of making food and water
This section is set up as a mystery: what amazing, cutting edge technology could astronauts possibly use to generate their food, oxygen and water on a journey to mars? Encourage pupil’s imagination and then reveal simple ‘space tools’ in the classroom.
Step 3: Main investigation to measure change across a semi-permeable membrane and two solutions of different concentration
Pupils plan, predict and carry out a practical activity to measure and record the changes to a gummy bear (or potato stick).
Step 4: Plenary sets a further amazing possibility
Food, whilst amazing, can possibly be made in space. Water, whilst amazing, can be made safe enough to drink. What about artificial gravity? Leave pupils to wonder: could that be possible too?
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