Lunar Landing Challenge


Lunar Landing Challenge (3rd-5th) 

In this problem-solving exploration, an astronaut crew has suffered an emergency crash landing on the Moon 60 miles from their destination. Everything is damaged except for 14 specific items. Each student must decide which items are most useful, based on their knowledge of the Moon and the resources available. Individuals then share ideas and input the class choices as they rank the salvaged items in terms of their importance in allowing them to reach their base. At the conclusion, item scores can be compared to real NASA scientist rankings.

SKU: EarSci-LunLand Category: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Lesson Overview

Students will:

  • Become embedded in a story about astronauts on the Moon with a limited list of supplies that can be used to survive.
  • Identify what information they would need to know to survive, and rank the items by importance individually, and then as a group.
  • Explain why they selected specific items and provide scientific evidence that supports their assumptions
  • Compare their rankings to NASA’s.
  • Discuss changing location to Earth or Mars, and whether the order of importance of their survival items would change

Lesson Objectives

Students will be able to: 

  • Use provided evidence and prior knowledge to evaluate items first individually and then support their claims in class
  • Explain some of the challenges associated with lunar exploration

This lesson is aligned with these Next Generation Science (NGS) Standards.

Standards Covered

Disciplinary Core Idea (DCI)

ESS1: Earth’s Place in the Universe

  • (3rd-5th) ESS1.B Earth and the Solar System – The Earth’s orbit and rotation, and the orbit of the moon around the Earth cause observable patterns.

Science & Engineering Practice (SEP)

Engaging in Argument from Evidence

  • (3rd-5th) Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem by citing relevant evidence about how it meets the criteria and constraints of the problem.

Crosscutting Concept (CCC)

Cause and Effect

  • (3rd-5th) Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change
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