This section highlights the methods and products created during the space mission project.

In this inqury based project students take resonsibility over thier own learning by choosing, reseaching and creating projects that meet space learning objectives. Each student has an assignment coversheet that is used to record assignemnt choosen and the number of points they recieve. When a group or individual student completes an assignement they place a two liter bottle up on thier desk and continue working on another assignement until the teacher can check them off. In order be checked off a student or gruop must awnser questions from the teacher to demonstrate they actually mastered the concepts behind the assignement. If they are unable to awnser the questions they are redirected to research the correct awnser until they can explain them in detail. Once checked off, the assignemnt or project is placed in thier individual cubbyhole to store, preventing cheating and copying. With this inquiry based method, every student is discovering the concepts for themselves. They are also recieving direct one-on-one feedback and guidance.


The front end planning is essential in having a sucessful project. All assignments were loaded into the class wiki site and copies of all assignments were arranged according to the mission.The classroom was then set up to facilitate groups of three. There was also an obstacle course created for the robots to navigate. Once the setup was complete there was little planning and prep work for the remaining eight weeks.

All groups stored their coversheets and assignments in their group folders.


The Project
iPads were used to help research, design and complete groups projects and assignments.

Bottles were used for questions, checkpoints and assignment check-off


Examples of student work




Students researched, designed, and programed a Lego Mindstorm robot that would navigate an obstacle course while firing plastic balls into five separate goals.


Results (115 students on team)

80 students raised their grade from second quarter to third quarter.
50 students raised their grade one whole letter grade or better.
Failures were reduced from 40 to 11.
After the project and test, 3 of the 4 classes had a class average of 80% or better.

One previously failing student commented "I'm excited, I have never received a B in science before. I wish all school was this way." She went on to get a 40/50 on her space test.