“The Earth is dying and it will only take 5 years for all living organisms to cease to exist.”
Not true, but this was the premise of a project based learning activity and presentation for eighth graders at Saint Leo the Great School. The Earth’s deterioration is a result of blight, food shortages, and lack of oxygen. The students had to devise a plan to move humanity to a new location in the solar system, favorably a planet that can sustain life.
The eighth graders had constraints such as only 1000 kg/module that was being taken to space; that included the humans, livestock, and any additional provisions (excluding prepared foods and oxygen). The students had to calculate the length of time it would take them to get to the planet going an average of 14,000 miles/second.
The students saw this as an awesome way to research a planet! In addition, they had to create a sustainable habitat, given the constraints of the habitable planet they chose. They had to include: all of their possible supplies, the kinds of professions they may need to survive and the laws to keep their society operating. Their graphic design and coding skills came to great use when they had to create a birds eye view of their establishment, a logo for their journey, a map of their landing position on their chosen planet and much more.