Wednesday, May 7, 2008, my class, along with 500 other students will be traveling to Mars. We will actually be traveling to a large hall that will accommodate that many people to travel to Mars as best you can without actually leaving the town you live in.
Students will be sharing the systems they have built (water, food, air, communication, recreation, transportation, waste management and temperature control) to survive two years on Mars. In addition they will eat a lunch they each designed for the trip, share spaceships they designed to make the journey and creatures they designed to live on Mars that take the conditions on Mars into account, among other activities.
I am going to make every attempt to Ustream for a half hour or so while students are constructing their habitats. I tried out my wireless card while we were there setting up today to make sure I would get a good signal and it seemed to work well.
Students show up with large pieces of plastic cut to specific sizes and then meet for the first time F2F with 12 other students they know only through email contacts, to build the habitat they will “live” in during the day. Teachers and parents are instructed to walk around and monitor WITH THEIR HANDS IN THEIR POCKETS AND THEIR ADVICE TO THEMSELVES THANK YOU!!! and allow the students to figure out how it all goes together.
Much “messy” learning ensues, and with few exceptions, all have a good time and much is learned.
Here is the link: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/marsopolis-2008-reno,-nevada
Ustreaming will commence about 10:45 or so Pacific Daylight Time … I’ll start when there is something to see. I plan to walk around with my laptop and narrate what is going on and ask students questions and to give feedback on how things are going and what they are learning.
Learning is messy!