Inquiry based learning by the pupils on real life problem of tracking stray asteroids and other astronomic bodies. The learning process is innovative in that it is based on a story of stray asteroids on its way to hit Earth. The pupils have to understand the phenomenon and its impacts, and then find solutions to such a problem. During that process, they are to decide what they need to study – in working groups and with their teacher. Thus, the solutions that will be achieved and the subjects that would have eventually been studied can take many directions.
Pupils will meet once a week during the year, when parts of the learning process is done in small groups. In addition, a significant portion of the learning is done by the pupils after school hours. At the beginning, they will be introduced to the problem and will consider the results of an asteroid hitting the Earth, while learning about and making connections to the extinction of dinosaurs. During the class meetings, they will conduct small experiments illustrating the science behind the phenomena. Then they will start looking for possible solutions. Towards the end of the year the pupils will discuss solutions for self- defending from the asteroid on the surface of the Earth (like shelters etc. – a symbolic “Noah’s Ark”). This question will be dealt both scientifically and ethnically.
In addition to the weekly classes, in order to broaden the knowledge of the school community, a special methodology of space-hackathon was developed. These events will include special short “TED style” lectures and a competition between groups of 5 pupils from other classes, led by one of the pupils from the original class. The groups’ challenges will include scientific and / or ethical solution for problems related to the subject, and will have to be presented as a model.
During the year, there will be several guest lectures on relevant subjects (e.g. stray asteroids tracking, space debris, atomic shelters…), from organizations like ISA (Israel Space Agency), SpaceIL, relevant academic researchers, etc.
Age: 12 to 15. But it can for different ages depending on the subject and the level of deepening.