The Solar System and Beyond
|Lead Teacher:||Mr. John Fitzgerald - (Teacher)|
|Grade Level:||Grade 8|
|Number of Students:||27|
|Project Start and Finish Dates:||March/97 - June/97|
There is an information explosion taking place! This project will utilize the students' keen interest in exploring the universe in which they live, while becoming computer literate.
Through use of the Internet, students will see that the information we have available through conventional media is often out-dated. We will connect Mythology and Astronomy, leading to scientific and language arts research papers dealing with such topics as a "fourth universe", new images and data of our own solar system, and so on.
The latest information available can often be found on the Internet, and as such, students should have access. It lends itself to the following grade 8 programs :
- Literature [ Crossings ] - Unit 5 dealing with myths and folklore
- Language [ Bridges ] - all aspects of the writing process
- Mathematics [ Math in Context ]- skills such as ratios, scientific notation, etc.
- Art - the images that can be downloaded bring a new dimension to the idea of art
- Science [ Science Directions 2 ] - mass, weight, matter, etc.
- Computer Studies - use of the computer as a tool rather than a toy
Since the general populace seems to be dividing between those who have access to the Net and those who do not:
- students will become competent in searching the WWW, this they will carry with them in their secondary education
- Students will be able to distinguish between that which is valuable and that which is not
- Students will be proficient in carrying out routine tasks, such as downloading, uploading, etc.
- Students will become aware of man's technological breakthroughs changing our view of the world in which we live and beyond
- Students will recognize the importance of proper "note-taking" in a comprehensive research project
- Students will learn to use modern wordprocessing software, such as Microsoft Word, and Corel Wordperfect
- Students will improve their typing/keyboarding skills
- Computer lab with CD ROM capability
- High speed modem connections
- Appropriate software to provide Internet access
Student evaluation will be a two-fold process:
A. Competency of the computer and of the Internet
Students' ability to use the Internet will be evaluated through observation
- gaining access [ ability to log on / off ]
- searches [ using various search engines, creating bookmarks, etc. ]
- accessing proper sites [ NASA, etc. ]
- download appropriate material [ running virus checks, etc. ]
- using e-mail [ to find info, and for pen-pals ]
B. Mastery of the new knowledge of Our Solar System and Beyond and its presentation
Research papers will be evaluated in the conventional manner but should include audio, video, and other such media and will be presented in a public forum [ audience ] of their classmates and their parents. This will judge communication skills.
Each student will also be required to maintain a personal portfolio.
Finally, working as a team, students will present one final document, representative of the class as a whole.