Overview and Background
Recently, it has become topical to consider a manned spaceflight to Mars which would eventually lead to constructing a colony in Mars. Moreover, the topic gained attention with the movie and the novel by Andy Weir, The Martian.
In this project-based learning module students will learn about the different conditions in Mars when compared to the Earth, and will be able to design and create a colony on Mars. This will be done first utilizing Augmented Reality using 3DBear AR, and then the designs will be 3D printed. In this way, students will be able to learn the physical, chemical and engineering problems involved by making.
Lesson Plan and Activity
Get familiar with 3DBear AR, especially the Thingiverse import function; start the group design using 3DBear AR. The relevant objects can be found in Thingiverse with search terms “3DBM1” and “3DBM2” (see app view pictures above). Remind the students to save and share their designs when completed. (10 mins)
- Start designing the colony. Remind students to save and share the designs to the Cloud upon finishing. (35 mins)
Presentation and 3D-printing
Each group prepares a presentation to introduce their colony. Remind students that the presentation should focus on what (what facilities they have built) and why (why these facilities are crucial). (10 mins)
Share and present the designs. Each group will have 5 mins to present, then 2 mins for follow-up questions and comments from the teacher and audience. (30 mins)
Feedback and evaluation form: give a brief summary of the class activities and comment on the group works. Fill out the evaluation form (see below) at the end of the class. (5 mins)
- 3D-print the designs, note that all of designs done in the app can be exported directly in 3D printable files. When the prints are ready, display them in the classroom as exhibition.
Evaluation Form for Grade 3 to 5: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AdrWg8_FzcrS8RKEbcYDPUTve2iCJ9P6Gc6jYtjh1-s/edit
Evaluation Form for Grade 6 to 8: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Si_3MvTUclOopPHLTYskyajht-G55Kl0e2J9fFluwgk/edit
The following activities can be added for longer project.
Code Red Challenge: after the presentation, invite one student from each group to pick one card from the Challenge Box (https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1jKJQ8GxZdww08TIKi9YDWBPV29UkjT_e3w7hjobDpdA/edit#slide=id.g4a85d50371_0_6); each card represents one challenge their colony will be facing soon, e.g., solar arrays don't function in the stormy region, or air leaks in the greenhouse. (5 mins)
To increase task difficulty, ask each group to address the challenge of the group next to them. So, the groups will be working on the designs they aren’t familiar with. (optional 5 mins)
Research the unfamiliar design. Each group can leave an “expert” behind to help the other group understand their design. (optional 15 mins)
The group has to figure out a solution to make repairs. Encourage the students to first consider improving the design on the existing equipments, if not, they can try build a new design using the models from the app collections. (15 mins) Discuss about the different solutions, then choose the most applicable one. (10 mins)
Start designing the solution in 3DBear AR. (15 mins)
Presentation and Q&A. Each group will have 5 mins to present their solution, then 2 mins for follow-up questions and comments from the teacher and peers. (35 mins)
Feedback and evaluation form: give a brief summary of the class activities and comment on the group work. Fill out the evaluation form by the end of the class. (10 mins)
- 3D-print the designs, note that all of designs done in the app can be exported directly in 3D printable files. When the prints are ready, display them in the classroom as exhibition. An alternative would be: hold an extra exhibition session, invite other students, teachers or parents to visit.
In order to run this class, you will need
- 3D modeling in AR
- 21st Century Skills
- Design thinking
90 to 135 mins (two or three class periods) and longer
The time allocated for each activity is just an estimation, it might vary in different classes.
We recommend to have mixed ability students in the same group. Pair students who are advanced in study with students who show struggles, or students with lower motivation with students who are always active in class.
Try out the 3DBear AR app before the class is highly recommended as the teacher might need to explain how to use the app. It would also save some time if there is already Thingiverse account made (the lesson requires students to import 3D models from Thingiverse, it is mandatory to have one).
Before the class, please create a classroom and add students on the app or teacher dashboard (https://app.3dbear.io, for instructions of how to use the teacher dashboard, please check this video: https://youtu.be/A-ivmAMv_2I), then add students accordingly, so when the class starts, students can use the class code to login directly.
Print out the worksheets i.e. the extra links in prior to the class, but it's not mandatory. An alternative would be showing the sheet on a projector. It is suggested that the teacher hands out the Mars Colony Facilities List (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hNWI2uJrWDlv8aTl3k438Ify8yOkiQmkn6vuuOHkTWg/edit#) a day before the class and asks the students to read through it before coming to class.
For younger students (primary school), the lesson can be simplified by asking students to use basic shapes to create imaginary machines that would help human to survive on Mars; also the transportation and communication perspective can be removed while designing a solution.
- For older students (middle school and above), the teacher can consider adding the extension part for encouraging problem-based learning.
Rubric and Assessment
After the class, the students should be able to:
- List the basic composition of Earth & Mars
- Describe the vital conditions for humans to survive under extreme environment
- Explain simple chemistry reaction relate to the production of water, O2 and H2
- A collection of 3D prints featuring the equipments they will need in order to live on Mars.
In addition to the above, ask your students to fill out the self-evaluation form (See section “Presentation and 3D-print”)
Based on the feedback gathered, the teacher can decide if it’s necessary to review some content knowledge in the next class.
Grd. 3 to 5
*3-ESS3-1 Earth and Human Activity
Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.
*4-ESS3-1 Earth and Human Activity
Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.
*5-PS1-4 Matter and Its Interactions
Conduct an investigation to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances.
Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.
*4-ESS3-2 Earth and Human Activity
Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.
*3-5-ETS1-2 Engineering Design
Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Grd. 6 to 8
*MS-PS1-6 Matter and its Interactions
Undertake a design project to construct, test, and modify a device that either releases or absorbs thermal energy by chemical processes.
Apply scientific principles to design, construct, and test a device that either minimizes or maximizes thermal energy transfer.
*MS-ESS3-3 Earth and Human Activity
Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
*MS-LS2-5 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
*MS-ETS1-1 Engineering Design
Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
*MS-ETS1-2 Engineering Design
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Grd. 6 to 8
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
The lesson plan along with other class materials are created by 3DBear, only the 3D models used in the lesson are remixed based on some other creators' designs.