First Week is in the Books!

And it was great! Well I think it was great and I’m hoping the students had fun too.

The first two days were filled with course outlines and lab safety. After, I had students randomly choose index cards labeled with different groupings. I did this last year and talked about it in a prior post, First Day 2011.  Students did a good job getting into their groups and they also enjoyed it.

Once we were done I then began to implement some of the lessons ideas I got from my summer experience with Honeywell Educators (thanks again Honeywell). Students were given ISS (International Space Station) capsule names as group names. For instance, one group was named Destiny and another Zarya (go Zarya, my group at camp). Each group was given an assignment to find the background information to their capsule. They also were given a job title assignment. This is what I came up with:






Lab Group Assignment

After lab groups have been chosen students are to choose their jobs they will hold during the semester for labs and group activities. Depending on the number of people in the group, each job should be filled.

Each Job has a duty the person must perform and contribute to the overall activity for the group.


Commander– person will be responsible for the whole group, they will be in charge of the group folder and papers due for labs and group activities. Lab write ups!

Pilot-this person will assist the commander with papers and folder, plus they will be in charge of the final lab report given to the teacher.

Mission Specialists– this person is in charge of lab equipment and cleanup. They will be the person to get equipment ready for the lab.

Payload Specialists– will help in lab set ups and cleanups. They will work with the Mission Specialists to make sure lab is completed.

Flight engineer– will be the person to make sure all activities are completed correctly and help the specialists with equipment.

CAPCOM– communication person, they are responsible for communications with the teacher and other groups. If there is a problem they are to communicate the problem and maintain communication in the group.

Once your group members have chosen their jobs you are to make sure they are listed on your group folder. You will then be given a group name.

1- When you are finished individuals are to:

Find out the “real” job description for their jobs. Use the internet to find the answers, make sure you put your name on a sheet of paper with your job and its description. Each job comes from NASA missions; they are actual jobs people perform on missions.

2- For the group:

Find out what the group name means, what is the purpose of the capsule, what country produced it, and when was it launched. Hint: International Space Station

Both assignments should be finished and put into your group folder. Remember everyone must have a answer sheet for the job descriptions, but only one answer sheet for the Group name.


After students finished their work, I had them whiteboard their answers. Since parent/teacher night was that day, I took pictures of all the students with their groups. With the pictures I created a slideshow for the parents.

I think this started the year off on a good note. We did some team building with the lab groups. I used the information I obtained from Area 51 at Honeywell Space Academy. The feedback I got from students was good, they really enjoyed the activities.  I think I will break up the year using these team building skills, especially when a break is needed.


I next unit will include some work with Earth Science Literacy and the Big Ideas.  I’m putting together an assignment that would include group work and online digital media tools.

In Forensics, we just completed use of observation exercises. Students really enjoyed the different observation activities that were included with our new text Forensic Science Fundamentals & Investigations. I did set up a mini-crime scene one day and asked them to hypothesize what they think could have happened using only the evidence at the crime-scene. Some of them had some really neat ideas. Next on the agenda is collecting evidence, should have some fun with this.

The next couple of weeks will be busy trying to fit everything in and keeping on task with both classes. I hope to incorporate a NASA lesson and some trace evidence.


About rippie77

Science Teacher at Cardinal Gibbons High School, Raleigh NC.

Posted on September 2, 2012, in Class Ideas, Honeywell, NASA, Space Camp and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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