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Header image for lesson 2 of the lunar rover challenge

Lesson 2: Prepare

Activities Timing Student grouping Description
Minds-On: What is a rover and why do we use them? 15-20 minutes Small group Students brainstorm questions related to rovers.
Action: Learn the Game 25-30 minutes Small group and Large group Students read the mission brief, watch the How to Play Video, and learn to play the game.
Consolidation: What makes for a good mission? 10 minutes Large group Students will review key takeaways from the How to Play Video and consider how the success of their mission (Lesson 3) depends on their balance of risk and science points.

 

Students will:

  • Understand some advantages and disadvantages of using a rover for missions beyond Earth
  • Understand why water is important for space exploration
  • Understand the hazards and challenges of a mission on the lunar surface
  • Understand the main objective of the Lunar Rover Mission game

Learning Goals

Students will:

  • Understand some advantages and disadvantages of using a rover for missions beyond Earth
  • Understand why water is important for space exploration
  • Understand the hazards and challenges of a mission on the lunar surface
  • Understand the main objective of the Lunar Rover Mission game

Students can:

  • Share what they know about rovers and discuss some of the costs and benefit
  • Clearly explain why water is important to for missions to the Moon
  • Describe dangers that lunar rovers face during missions
  • Learn how to play the Lunar Rover Mission game and identify what should be taken into consideration for a successful mission

Success Criteria

Students can:

  • Share what they know about rovers and discuss some of the costs and benefit
  • Clearly explain why water is important to for missions to the Moon
  • Describe dangers that lunar rovers face during missions
  • Learn how to play the Lunar Rover Mission game and identify what should be taken into consideration for a successful mission
Assessment opporunties icon

This icon indicates potential assessment opportunities.

Observations 

  • Observe and document student understanding of the risks and benefits of lunar exploration as they discuss what makes a successful lunar mission (Consolidation).

Conversations

  • Have conversations with students during the Carousel Brainstorm to provoke idea generation and clarification, etc. (Minds-on).

Products

  • Chart paper from the carousel brainstorm could be submitted or put up in the room (Minds-on).
  • Students could submit their completed Mission Brief 3-2-1 answers (Action).

Evidence of Student Learning

Assessment opporunties icon

This icon indicates potential assessment opportunities.

Observations 

  • Observe and document student understanding of the risks and benefits of lunar exploration as they discuss what makes a successful lunar mission (Consolidation).

Conversations

  • Have conversations with students during the Carousel Brainstorm to provoke idea generation and clarification, etc. (Minds-on).

Products

  • Chart paper from the carousel brainstorm could be submitted or put up in the room (Minds-on).
  • Students could submit their completed Mission Brief 3-2-1 answers (Action).

Students will:

  • Understand some advantages and disadvantages of using a rover for missions beyond Earth
  • Understand why water is important for space exploration
  • Understand the hazards and challenges of a mission on the lunar surface
  • Understand the main objective of the Lunar Rover Mission game

Learning Goals

Students will:

  • Understand some advantages and disadvantages of using a rover for missions beyond Earth
  • Understand why water is important for space exploration
  • Understand the hazards and challenges of a mission on the lunar surface
  • Understand the main objective of the Lunar Rover Mission game

Students can:

  • Share what they know about rovers and discuss some of the costs and benefit
  • Clearly explain why water is important to for missions to the Moon
  • Describe dangers that lunar rovers face during missions
  • Learn how to play the Lunar Rover Mission game and identify what should be taken into consideration for a successful mission

Success Criteria

Students can:

  • Share what they know about rovers and discuss some of the costs and benefit
  • Clearly explain why water is important to for missions to the Moon
  • Describe dangers that lunar rovers face during missions
  • Learn how to play the Lunar Rover Mission game and identify what should be taken into consideration for a successful mission
Assessment opporunties icon

This icon indicates potential assessment opportunities.

Observations 

  • Observe and document student understanding of the risks and benefits of lunar exploration as they discuss what makes a successful lunar mission (Consolidation).

Conversations

  • Have conversations with students during the Carousel Brainstorm to provoke idea generation and clarification, etc. (Minds-on).

Products

  • Chart paper from the carousel brainstorm could be submitted or put up in the room (Minds-on).
  • Students could submit their completed Mission Brief 3-2-1 answers (Action).

Evidence of Student Learning

Assessment opporunties icon

This icon indicates potential assessment opportunities.

Observations 

  • Observe and document student understanding of the risks and benefits of lunar exploration as they discuss what makes a successful lunar mission (Consolidation).

Conversations

  • Have conversations with students during the Carousel Brainstorm to provoke idea generation and clarification, etc. (Minds-on).

Products

  • Chart paper from the carousel brainstorm could be submitted or put up in the room (Minds-on).
  • Students could submit their completed Mission Brief 3-2-1 answers (Action).
Material/Technology/Setting Quantity
  • Recording tools (e.g., pencils, erasers, pens, coloured pencil crayons), if the doing print version of the game.
  • Device with a keyboard and internet access, if doing the online version of the game.
1 per student

**These PDFs are designed to be printed double-sided

1 per group
For teacher use

*Note: The condensed version of the game is designed for students to play a few shortened missions within one class period (Lesson 3). The competition version of the game will require more time for teams to complete several full-length missions to compare. You can make this decision based on time availability in your programming, the abilities of your students, and how comfortable they feel with gameplay after watching and participating in the How to Play video. You may bypass the condensed version and fast-track your students to play the full-length competition version of the game.

Materials

Material/Technology/Setting Quantity
  • Recording tools (e.g., pencils, erasers, pens, coloured pencil crayons), if the doing print version of the game.
  • Device with a keyboard and internet access, if doing the online version of the game.
1 per student

**These PDFs are designed to be printed double-sided

1 per group
For teacher use

*Note: The condensed version of the game is designed for students to play a few shortened missions within one class period (Lesson 3). The competition version of the game will require more time for teams to complete several full-length missions to compare. You can make this decision based on time availability in your programming, the abilities of your students, and how comfortable they feel with gameplay after watching and participating in the How to Play video. You may bypass the condensed version and fast-track your students to play the full-length competition version of the game.

  • Create groups of three to five students. Five is the suggested team size due to the roles set out in the game. Ideally, students should stay with the same team for the rest of the lessons.
  • Student groups can use either the digital or print version of the game. You can let the students decide or choose yourself.
  • Make copies of any reproducibles you plan to give out.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Carousel Brainstorm and 3-2-1 learning strategies if they are new to you.

Preparation

  • Create groups of three to five students. Five is the suggested team size due to the roles set out in the game. Ideally, students should stay with the same team for the rest of the lessons.
  • Student groups can use either the digital or print version of the game. You can let the students decide or choose yourself.
  • Make copies of any reproducibles you plan to give out.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Carousel Brainstorm and 3-2-1 learning strategies if they are new to you.
  • Familiarity with collaborative group work (e.g., listening to one another, respecting the opinions of other group members, contributing equally).
  • Some familiarity with the Moon and space missions. (See Lesson 1)

Student Prior Knowledge and Skills

  • Familiarity with collaborative group work (e.g., listening to one another, respecting the opinions of other group members, contributing equally).
  • Some familiarity with the Moon and space missions. (See Lesson 1)
Material/Technology/Setting Quantity
  • Recording tools (e.g., pencils, erasers, pens, coloured pencil crayons), if the doing print version of the game.
  • Device with a keyboard and internet access, if doing the online version of the game.
1 per student

**These PDFs are designed to be printed double-sided

1 per group
For teacher use

*Note: The condensed version of the game is designed for students to play a few shortened missions within one class period (Lesson 3). The competition version of the game will require more time for teams to complete several full-length missions to compare. You can make this decision based on time availability in your programming, the abilities of your students, and how comfortable they feel with gameplay after watching and participating in the How to Play video. You may bypass the condensed version and fast-track your students to play the full-length competition version of the game.

Materials

Material/Technology/Setting Quantity
  • Recording tools (e.g., pencils, erasers, pens, coloured pencil crayons), if the doing print version of the game.
  • Device with a keyboard and internet access, if doing the online version of the game.
1 per student

**These PDFs are designed to be printed double-sided

1 per group
For teacher use

*Note: The condensed version of the game is designed for students to play a few shortened missions within one class period (Lesson 3). The competition version of the game will require more time for teams to complete several full-length missions to compare. You can make this decision based on time availability in your programming, the abilities of your students, and how comfortable they feel with gameplay after watching and participating in the How to Play video. You may bypass the condensed version and fast-track your students to play the full-length competition version of the game.

  • Create groups of three to five students. Five is the suggested team size due to the roles set out in the game. Ideally, students should stay with the same team for the rest of the lessons.
  • Student groups can use either the digital or print version of the game. You can let the students decide or choose yourself.
  • Make copies of any reproducibles you plan to give out.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Carousel Brainstorm and 3-2-1 learning strategies if they are new to you.

Preparation

  • Create groups of three to five students. Five is the suggested team size due to the roles set out in the game. Ideally, students should stay with the same team for the rest of the lessons.
  • Student groups can use either the digital or print version of the game. You can let the students decide or choose yourself.
  • Make copies of any reproducibles you plan to give out.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Carousel Brainstorm and 3-2-1 learning strategies if they are new to you.
  • Familiarity with collaborative group work (e.g., listening to one another, respecting the opinions of other group members, contributing equally).
  • Some familiarity with the Moon and space missions. (See Lesson 1)

Student Prior Knowledge and Skills

  • Familiarity with collaborative group work (e.g., listening to one another, respecting the opinions of other group members, contributing equally).
  • Some familiarity with the Moon and space missions. (See Lesson 1)
Assessment opporunties icon

This icon indicates potential assessment opportunities.

Minds-On: What is a Rover and Why do we Use Them? (15-20 min.)

Instructions Teaching Tips

To find out what students already know about rovers, have them use the Carousel Brainstorm learning strategy.

To do this, divide students into four groups. Each group starts at a different chart paper labelled with one of the discussion questions. This is their group’s home chart. Students rotate through all four charts to record their ideas and review responses from other groups.

Assessment opporunties icon

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are rovers?
    Answers:
    • Robots that can drive on the surface of a planet or moon.
    • They carry scientific instruments and cameras to take measurements.
    • They send information about a planet or moon back to Earth.
  2. Where rovers are currently used in space?
     Answers:
    • The Moon
    • Mars
  3. What are some advantages of using rovers instead of manned spacecraft?
    Answers:
    • ​​​​​​​Rovers can travel longer distances.
    • Rovers do not require life support systems.
    • Human lives are not put at risk.
    • Cheaper to send a robot than a human.
    • Some rovers are designed to withstand harsh conditions, like extreme temperatures or high levels of radiation.
    • Rovers can stay in space for a long time, so there’s no need for a return trip.
    • Rovers can complete tasks that would be impossible for astronauts.
  4. What are some of the challenges of using rovers far from Earth?
    Answers:
    • ​​​​​​​Distance from earth results in delays in communication.
    • If a rover breaks down in space, it is hard to make repairs remotely.
    • They can only explore a small area because they move very slowly.
    • Landing a rover on the surface of a planet or moon can be very tricky due to differences in gravity and a lack of atmosphere.

Take note of any questions from students and bridge any knowledge gaps with the list of suggested responses above.

tech tips icon

Technology

Students could use a digital whiteboard tool like Padlet or Google Jamboard to record their responses to the questions.

Line drawing of a chalkboard with "abc" written on it

Language

Students with visual impairments could have the prompts read aloud to them. Group members can record oral answers.

Assessment opporunties icon

Once students are back to their home chart papers, have a representative from each group share what was written. Probe groups to further explain responses or clarify meaning.

Encourage students to share any questions or wondering they now have about rovers.

 

Action: Learn to Play the Lunar Rover Mission Game (25 - 30 min.)

Instructions Teaching Tips

Distribute copies of the Mission Brief reproducible [Google Doc] [Word doc] [PDF] and the Rover Infographic reproducible [html] [PDF] to each game group.

Have students carefully read the brief and look at the image of the rover. Encourage students to highlight what they think is important information. Clarify any words or phrases that students do not understand.

Assessment opporunties icon

Using the 3-2-1 strategy, have students fill in the second page of the mission brief. In it, they will identify:

  • three dangers rovers face during lunar missions
  • two reasons water is important to space exploration
  • one interesting thing about the rover

Review the Mission Brief: Suggested Responses reproducible [Google Doc] [Word doc] [PDF] as a class.

 

tech tips icon

Technology

You can view the AR rover model on a laptop, but a mobile device with a camera is needed to experience it in augmented reality. If you do not have enough devices, you can show the whole class the model using a projector.

Next, tell students they will be playing a game that will require them to make decisions together as a team.

Provide each group a copy of the Lunar Rover Mission Rules reproducible [Google Doc] [Word doc] [PDF] and the Game Set reproducible they will be using in Lesson 3 (Condensed or Competition) either digitally or on paper.

If students are using the Google slides or PowerPoint game set, they will need to save a copy of the file for their group, for each mission game they play.

Show the How to Play the Lunar Rover Mission video to the class.

Pause the video so students can lay out all of the parts of the game. Ensure that each group has all of the required pages.

Afterwards, discuss any questions students have about how to play the game.

Each group will also need to:

  • come up with a team name
  • select roles for themselves
line drawing of a lightbulb

Idea

It may be useful to teachers to pause the “How to Play” video periodically, to allow students to move the game pieces as per instructions. Some students may need to watch the video more than once.

tech tips icon

Technology

Students playing the digital format of the game must work on the same file collaboratively. Learn more about how to set up One Drive or SharePoint in Microsoft 365 so students can work together on PowerPoint presentations.

Consolidation: What makes for a good mission? (10 min.)

Instructions Teaching Tips

To have a successful mission, students need to balance risk to the rover with the scientific value of finding water.

Using a piece of chart paper or an interactive whiteboard like Google Jamboard, co-construct with students the criteria for a successful rover mission.

Use prompting questions, such as the following:

What are the three factors that contribute to the risk level of a mission?

Rover internal temperature, battery level, and hazardous terrain.

What are PSRs and why is water most likely to be found there?

PSR stands for Permanently Shadowed Region. Stable sources of water are likely in the form of ice in these regions because they are always dark and cold.

Why might it be risky to spend time in PSRs?

PSRs are areas that never receive sunlight. So, they stay very cold all the time, often below -230°C. This makes it difficult for solar panels and instruments to operate there.

How are the science points calculated?

Some areas on the map have higher water potential (snowflake icon) because there is a higher chance of finding frozen water there. Each instrument has a different scientific value (magnifying glass icon) because some are more helpful in finding water. The science points earned from a measurement is the product of water potential of the location and scientific value of the instrument. The points for each measurement are added up to get the total science points for the mission.

Why might it be beneficial to take risks in this mission?

The coldest regions on the map are also where stable sources of water are likely to be found. So some level of risk is necessary to find water. 

 

line drawing of a lightbulb

Idea

Post the answers to the question prompts so students can refer to them.

Line drawing of a chalkboard with "abc" written on it

Language

Create a word wall with new terms explaining each. Consider a visual dictionary for ELL students.

 

Reproducibles:

Reproducibles and Media

Reproducibles:

Science:

  • Students could do further research about rovers and the people who build them.

 Literacy:

  • Students could create their own rules “cheat sheets” to accompany the game.

Computational Thinking:

Extensions

Science:

  • Students could do further research about rovers and the people who build them.

 Literacy:

  • Students could create their own rules “cheat sheets” to accompany the game.

Computational Thinking:

Destination Mars (2021)
Learn about human’s fascination with the planet Mars. Maybe it’s because you can see it without the help of a telescope. With telescopes, robotic orbiters, landers and rovers, we have learned a lot about Mars.

Exploration of the Planets in the Solar System (2021)
Learn about how spacecrafts have helped us learn about our Solar System. Technological progress in robotics and artificial intelligence will allow us to reach further. We will also obtain better data with each new spacecraft we send.

Rovers
This is a collection of information about the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) rovers, rover technology and mission simulations.

Learn More

Destination Mars (2021)
Learn about human’s fascination with the planet Mars. Maybe it’s because you can see it without the help of a telescope. With telescopes, robotic orbiters, landers and rovers, we have learned a lot about Mars.

Exploration of the Planets in the Solar System (2021)
Learn about how spacecrafts have helped us learn about our Solar System. Technological progress in robotics and artificial intelligence will allow us to reach further. We will also obtain better data with each new spacecraft we send.

Rovers
This is a collection of information about the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) rovers, rover technology and mission simulations.

NASA Space Place. (18 August, 2022). Why Do We Send Robots to Space?

SpaceQ. (2022) Canadensys Lunar Rover Mission contract augmented and team revealed

Canadian Space Agency. (2022) VIPER: Mapping water ice on the Moon

Seeker. (25 Jan 2020) Inside the Lab That's Turning Moon Water Into Rocket Fuel. [Video]. YouTube.

References

NASA Space Place. (18 August, 2022). Why Do We Send Robots to Space?

SpaceQ. (2022) Canadensys Lunar Rover Mission contract augmented and team revealed

Canadian Space Agency. (2022) VIPER: Mapping water ice on the Moon

Seeker. (25 Jan 2020) Inside the Lab That's Turning Moon Water Into Rocket Fuel. [Video]. YouTube.

Reproducibles:

Reproducibles and Media

Reproducibles:

Science:

  • Students could do further research about rovers and the people who build them.

 Literacy:

  • Students could create their own rules “cheat sheets” to accompany the game.

Computational Thinking:

Extensions

Science:

  • Students could do further research about rovers and the people who build them.

 Literacy:

  • Students could create their own rules “cheat sheets” to accompany the game.

Computational Thinking:

Destination Mars (2021)
Learn about human’s fascination with the planet Mars. Maybe it’s because you can see it without the help of a telescope. With telescopes, robotic orbiters, landers and rovers, we have learned a lot about Mars.

Exploration of the Planets in the Solar System (2021)
Learn about how spacecrafts have helped us learn about our Solar System. Technological progress in robotics and artificial intelligence will allow us to reach further. We will also obtain better data with each new spacecraft we send.

Rovers
This is a collection of information about the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) rovers, rover technology and mission simulations.

Learn More

Destination Mars (2021)
Learn about human’s fascination with the planet Mars. Maybe it’s because you can see it without the help of a telescope. With telescopes, robotic orbiters, landers and rovers, we have learned a lot about Mars.

Exploration of the Planets in the Solar System (2021)
Learn about how spacecrafts have helped us learn about our Solar System. Technological progress in robotics and artificial intelligence will allow us to reach further. We will also obtain better data with each new spacecraft we send.

Rovers
This is a collection of information about the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) rovers, rover technology and mission simulations.

NASA Space Place. (18 August, 2022). Why Do We Send Robots to Space?

SpaceQ. (2022) Canadensys Lunar Rover Mission contract augmented and team revealed

Canadian Space Agency. (2022) VIPER: Mapping water ice on the Moon

Seeker. (25 Jan 2020) Inside the Lab That's Turning Moon Water Into Rocket Fuel. [Video]. YouTube.

References

NASA Space Place. (18 August, 2022). Why Do We Send Robots to Space?

SpaceQ. (2022) Canadensys Lunar Rover Mission contract augmented and team revealed

Canadian Space Agency. (2022) VIPER: Mapping water ice on the Moon

Seeker. (25 Jan 2020) Inside the Lab That's Turning Moon Water Into Rocket Fuel. [Video]. YouTube.