Our Stories

Second Grade Space Expo ft. Expert Planet Books, Mars Mission Prototypes, Giant Mars Map Family Activity, Space Documentary and Guest Speaker

May 27, 2022

Second graders shared their research reports, space tool prototypes, and a presentation of their Design Thinking process at the Space Expo today. The event also included an interactive parent-child activity, a special guest speaker and a screening of the film, Space Torah. The documentary is about NASA astronaut Dr. Jeff Hoffman who brought a small Torah scroll on board Space Shuttle Columbia in 1996. We were grateful to have Rachel Raz, Executive Producer of the film, join us to speak about the film and its subjects. As part of the exciting program, parents and children also participated in a Mars land form creation activity, using the newly acquired giant Buzz Aldrin foundation Mars Mat.

Students proudly displayed their expert planet books, which reflected the curricular integration of Language Arts, Social Studies, and Space Studies. In addition, they showcased their culminating STEAM group projects. Second graders worked in teams and applied the Design Thinking process to research the needs of astronauts and then design a space tool to support future Mars missions. Each Mars Mission team designed a patch and 3D printed acronym name tag to reflect their specific mission goal, such as researching Mars’ atmosphere, land forms, soil, rocks and/or looking for signs of life and water. Each team used a specific set of criteria and constraints in their design and used recycled materials to build their Mars tool prototype. After many iterations and improvements, the final project prototypes were put on display for parents and other MILTON students to view. We hope these projects will one day be recognized by NASA and perhaps be useful in the planning of space tools used for real future Mars Missions!