Project Based Learning is Out of This World!
One team has been doing research on the sustainability of humans on Mars; or, para-teraforming and the best oxygen producing plants. The second team has been creating spacesuit drawings and actual spacesuits with the help from Amanda Valentine of Project Runway Fame. All 180 students in Mr. Mitchell’s art class have seen video of Nikki Giovanni reading her amazing poem “Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea,” made drawings, done homework, and thought about spacesuits based off of the poem. Team two had the opportunity to present their findings to the folks at the Buck Institute when they recently toured Maplewood High School.
Both teams have used skype to connect with experts in various fields to research the different components of the projects that are inherently collaborative. The fashion team (#2) spoke with St. Andrews University philosophy professor, Dr. Derek Ball about questions that might need to be answered before humans make the trip to Mars. Both teams spoke via Skype with Dr. John Gruener in Texas where he works for NASA as a scientist and space farmer.
As part of the public audience the students’ findings have been pushed out to the larger public audience aggressively on several Twitter accounts managed by Dr. Jackson, Academy Principal of Academy of Energy & Power, and Mr. Mitchell, the academy art teacher.