• January Week 2

    Posted by Shana Havanas at 1/9/2017 5:00:00 AM

    Mission to Mars: This week the students began their new mission order, Perils of the Journey. Microgravity and extended space travel can cause many challenges to the human body. These challenges include issues such as muscle atrophy, loss of bone density, and even negative psychological effects. The crew's mission is to research these challenges, and to devise a plan that will safeguard the health of the astronauts during an extended voyage to Mars. Ask your child about the peril they are investigating!

     

    Ask your child some of the questions below to generate conversations regarding their current mission.

     

    Can you tell me more about your new mission order, Perils of the Journey?

    What is microgravity?

    Why should astronauts exercise on Mars?

    What are some challenges that are caused by extended space travel and/or microgravity?

    How do you think scientists could address these issues?

    What is your biggest concern regarding extended space travel? Why?

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  • Mission to Mars December Week 2

    Posted by Shana Havanas at 12/10/2016 5:00:00 AM

    Over the past few weeks the students have been researching different ways to provide food, water, and oxygen on an extended voyage to Mars. The students have explored various options such as hydroponic greenhouses, prepackaged supplies, ESA's MELiSSA system, suspended animation, and recycling on Mars. This week we will review the information that we have learned, and the students will devise a final plan to provide life-support raw materials for our mission to Mars!

     

    Check out our Twitter for upcoming pictures!

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  • Mission to Mars December Week 1

    Posted by Shana Havanas at 12/1/2016 10:00:00 PM

    Mission to Mars

    Next week we will take a break from our Human Factor Mission Order to participate in a Mars rover creation project. The best part about this project is that it is edible! Just like real engineers, the students will be given a set amount of supplies that are available for use. These include items such as graham crackers, frosting, marshmallows, straws, toothpicks, and much more! The students will sketch and label their diagram, and then begin building with their inventory. At the end of our session together, the students should be able to explain each part of their independently designed rover. (Ex: Maybe the bendable straw is a rock-abrasion tool, or the graham cracker is a solar panel!)

     

    Check out our Twitter for upcoming pictures!

     

    Winter Writing Contest

    Students will have the opportunity to compete in a K-3 Seminar Winter Writing Contest. The purpose of this competition is to cultivate a passion for creative writing. Participation in this competition is completely optional. Students who choose to participate will work on their creative writing pieces during their independent study time. Their piece must be submitted to me by January 20th, although this date could change depending on weather. Many students have already started their stories, and their enthusiasm for writing is contagious! Ask your child about the topic of their winter writing piece!

     

     

     

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  • Mission to Mars November Week 3

    Posted by Shana Havanas at 11/20/2016 5:00:00 AM

    Mission Order: Our mission is to calculate how much of the three life support raw materials (food, water, and oxygen) our crew will need for a 31 month trip to Mars. We must also determine how to manage storage and disposal problems.

    Students have begun exploring our new mission order, The Human Factor. Students are taking the facts and information that they are learning, in combination with their problem-solving skills, to explore solutions to potential storage and disposal issues. So far, the students have primarily focused on the possibility of utilizing hydroponic greenhouses on Mars. We have also discussed the possibility of recycling food, drinking water, and oxygen. Students will look at more alternatives over the next couple of weeks!

     

    Conversation Starters

    We will study this topic over the next couple of weeks. Below I have listed some questions that you may want to ask your child. These are great conversation starters!

     

    1. What are the three life support raw materials needed for this mission?

    2. What are the challenges of providing food, water, and oxygen on Mars?

    3. What is a hydroponic greenhouse?

    4. How could your crew recycle food, water, and oxygen on Mars?

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  • Mission to Mars November Week 1

    Posted by Shana Havanas at 11/4/2016 5:00:00 AM

    This week we will begin the next unit in our Mission to Mars simulation. This unit will be called, The Human Factor. This mission refers to the amount of food, drinking water, and oxygen that is necessary to sustain the life of each crew member. See below for mission order details.

    Mission Order: Our mission is to calculate how much of the three life support raw materials (food, water, and oxygen) our crew will need for a 31 month trip to Mars. We must also determine how to manage storage and disposal problems.

     

    Conversation Starters:

    We will study this topic over the next couple of weeks. Below I have listed some questions that you may want to ask your child. These are great conversation starters!

     

    1. What are the three life support raw materials needed for this mission?

    2. How much food, water, and oxygen does the average man/woman need to sustain life?

    3. Can your crew grow food without soil?

    4. How might your crew grow food on Mars?

    5. How could your crew recycle food, water, and oxygen?

    6. What is suspended animation?

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  • Mission to Mars October Week 4

    Posted by Shana Havanas at 10/31/2016 6:00:00 AM

    Ore Valley/York Township: Last week in seminar the students at YT and OV learned about the final trajectory option, The Gravity Assist Mission. The students investigated this trajectory option and learned that it utilizes the gravitational pull of Venus to redirect our spacecraft on its course to Mars. The students also learned about some of the risks associated with this mission, including exposure to severe temperature and increased radiation because of the close approach to the sun. This week the students at OV and YT will have their first Exploration Day. This is when they can use their seminar session to focus primarily on their independent study option, or explore various interactive Mars activities such as a rocket-landing simulation.

    Ask your child about the trajectory their crew selected for our Mission to Mars!

     

    Loganville-Sprinfield/Dallastown Elementary/Leaders Heights: Last week students at LS, DTE, and LH investigated the Conjunction Mission. They learned that with this mission, our spacecraft will leave Earth orbit on a direct trajectory to catch up with Mars in its orbit. They also learned that this mission will require a 17 month stay on Mars. That will give us a lot of time to explore the red planet! This week the students will investigate the Gravity Assist Mission. After reviewing all three of these trajectories, the crew will determine which one they will select for their Mission to Mars!

     

    Check out our Twitter for photos!

    www.twitter.com/HavanasDASD

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  • Mission to Mars October Week 3

    Posted by Shana Havanas at 10/21/2016

    This week in seminar the students had the opportunity to investigate the Conjunction Mission trajectory. If our mission specialists select this option, our spacecraft will leave Earth’s orbit on a direct trajectory to catch up with Mars in its orbit. This trajectory includes seven months of travel to reach Mars, and seven months to return to earth. The crew would stay on the red planet for approximately seventeen months.  Next week the students will investigate the final trajectory option, and we will work as a team to make a decision regarding which option will be the safest and most effective.

     

    This week the students were also introduced to the technology independent study option. Students had the chance to explore coding, digital art, and the San Francisco Symphony Online for kids. 

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  • Mission to Mars Simulation October Week 2

    Posted by Shana Havanas at 10/14/2016 6:00:00 AM

    This week in seminar we began researching our first trajectory, the Sprint Mission. The students examined the travel time of this trajectory, and created a list of associated pros and cons. The students also brainstormed other potential problems that we may encounter relating to this specific trajectory. Ask your child what they have learned about the Sprint Mission!

    Fun Fact: If you were to “drive” to mars at 70mph it could take almost 410 years to get there. We are going to need a very fast spacecraft!

     

    This week the students were also introduced to the Literature Response options in their independent study binder. The students reviewed the creative literature response ideas, such as writing diary entries as a favorite character, or writing and mailing a letter to the author of their books.

     

    Next week we will investigate the Conjunction Mission, and compare the data with what we have already learned about the Sprint Mission. We will also explore the technology portion of our independent study binder!

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  • Mission to Mars Simulation October Week 1

    Posted by Shana Havanas at 10/6/2016 6:00:00 AM

    This week in seminar we began investigating the trajectory to Mars. Students learned that a trajectory is a way to get from one place to another, like a map through space. Our spacecraft, the TommyKnocker, has a navigational computer that has produced three possible trajectories to take us from the WOOSE Space Station to Mars and back. The students began learning about these three options, which include a sprint mission, a conjunction mission, and a gravity assist mission. Next week we will look closely at the pros and cons of each trajectory, before selecting one for our mission to Mars.

    This week the students were also introduced to the math independent study/practice option. Students learned various math games that reinforce fact fluency skills in the areas of addition, subtraction, and multiplication. One of the games can be easily played at home using a deck of cards. Directions are listed below!

     

    Name that Number Game Directions:

    Image result for name that number game

     

    *Shuffle the deck of cards and remove kings, queens, jacks, and aces.

    1. Place five cards face up. Leave the rest of the deck facedown.
    2. Lay down the top card from the deck. The number on this card is the *Target Number*.
    3. Taking turns, players try to equal the target number by adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing using the five face up cards. You must use between 2 and 5 cards to equal the target number. Challenge your child by encouraging them to use as many cards as possible.
    4. A successful player takes the cards used, and takes the target number.
    5. Replace the used cards/target number card by drawing cards from the top of the facedown pile.
    6. Play continues until all facedown cards have been turned over. The player who has the most cards at the end is the winner.

     

    Watch the video below for additional step-by-step directions!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sa0xzTbIK8

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  • Mission to Mars Simulation Week 2

    Posted by Shana Havanas at 9/29/2016 6:00:00 AM

    This week in seminar we reviewed the requirements needed to become a mission specialist astronaut, and the students had the opportunity to share their self-created mission specialist profile with their classmates. Also, the students completed a pre-flight test to determine the amount of background knowledge they possess in relation to Mars. This test was challenging, but the students were reminded that astronauts must be perseverant, especially during difficult tasks.  The results of this assessment will help to guide our mission specialist training, which is necessary to ensure a safe and effective trip to mars. Finally, the students were introduced to their creative writing independent study option. The students enjoyed using fun and unique prompts to launch their creative writing stories. Ask your child about the topic of their creative writing piece!

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