Real World Math: Space Lessons - Lunar Fieldtrip

Lunar Field Trip takes viewers on a science fiction tour of futuristic settlements on the moon. 

Narrated through a series of embedded animations, two high schools students begin in Armstrong City and then go on a class trip that visits lunar craters, mountains, and the Apollo landing sites.  Along the way, we learn about what it’s like to live on the lunar surface.

This activity was designed in collaboration with Pam Eastlick, Director of the University of Guam’s Planetarium.  The planetarium show it is based on was produced by Ms. Eastlick and a group of George Washington High School students.  In Google Moon, the tour takes advantage of layered content from the Apollo missions that Google developed with NASA.  A set of SketchUp 3D models of lunar bases and spacecraft are included in the Kmz file.

It’s hard to determine what age level or discipline this activity is appropriate for since so many of us have somehow lost sight of the moon and what was accomplished there.  There are many aspects of the content that can be explored in Science, Math, History, or English classes.  Two additional lessons, Lunar Sports and Rockets are descendant from this activity.  Below are some additional suggestions:

  • In small groups, compose web diagrams based on the tour.  Include webs for shelter, food, water, transportation, and recreation.  Write group essays based on the web diagram using Google Docs.
  • Make a chart that compares and contrasts human existence on Earth and on the Moon. 
  • Make a timeline of lunar exploration.  Begin with the Apollo Missions and continue to the 2048 Olympics on the Moon.
  • Have students suppose the events prior to the Lunar Field Trip.
  • Investigate and compare the challenges of human settlements on Mars with the Moon.


I would like you to consider how Lunar Field Trip could be used in your classroom and invite you to share your ideas with others (mail to 4realworldmath@gmail.com).

Note:  The inclusion of complex SketchUp models and embedded video may tax some systems.  Be sure to run through the tour and its elements before presenting it to students.  Deselecting models that aren’t in use may improve performance.  An Internet connection is necessary to view the embedded videos.

Helpful Links:

Objectives

  • Navigate and explore Google Moon content
  • Identify key elements necessary for human life on the Moon

Astronomy
K-6, Middle School, Educator

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