I have a group of incredibly bright, advanced kids who enjoy getting pushed and challenged academically. In our astronomy class, my students are always looking for ways to apply real world situations to the content we are learning about. At times this can be difficult in Astronomy, due to some of the content being outside their normal day to day life. However, when the students are able to make a connection with what we are learning, they are instantly engaged and invested in what they are learning!
During the 4th Six Weeks grading period, we will begin studying the planets of our solar system. With technology in regards to space travel getting better every year, much thought (fictional and factual) has been given to humans traveling to Mars. In my opinion, one of the better fictional and factual representations of this occurs in the novel The Martian by Andy Weir. In the book, an astronaut gets stranded on Mars and has to figure out a way to survive. The book has won numerous awards and has even stemmed a successful film adaptation. I plan on having each student read their own copy of The Martian, while completing assignments based off the book.
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