SCIENCE VR CASE STUDY: Space (Student Age 9 -10)
“This lesson is intended as a hook at the beginning of the topic so no prior knowledge is assumed, although most students will have a basic understanding of the solar system and gravity.
This lesson would fit in well to a scheme of work which focuses on space exploration, understanding the solar system and/or comparing size, speed and shapes (such as a geometry focus in mathematics).”
Educational Technology Consultant
The session starts inside a servicing facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Students are asked to look around and think about where they might be, why everyone is wearing special clothing and what the large silver object might be. Next, students watch a 360 video of a rocket launch which gives a great idea of the size of the rocket and the amount of thrust required to leave Earth’s gravitational pull. Following the launch, the class then arrives at the International Space Station. Students are asked to think about what difficulties astronauts would face and tasked with finding as many modifications made to support the crew for life in Space. Next, we go out into deep space and look back to see an amazing view of the Earth, the Moon and the Sun in the distance. Here we discuss the relative sizes of the objects and how that mass affects the gravitational pull. At this point, the class watches a truly inspirational and emotional video called One Strange Rock, in which we find out more about what it’s like to live onboard the International Space Station travelling 17,000 mph around the Earth. Finally, we explore images of the Solar System and Milky Way to get an idea of how small and insignificant the Earth really is.
IMPACT ON LEARNING
Students were massively engaged by this experience. As well as finding out information from the session, they go away with even more questions than answers! This puts students in a great place for the follow-up lessons exploring the topic in more detail.
- To gain an understanding of the relationship between Earth, Moon, Sun and other planets in the Solar System including size and properties.
- To gain an understanding of the gravitational forces in place and how these relate to the Solar System and Milky Way.