FA Space Race

Project Description: With an emphasis on collaboration in this project, students will work in teams of three or four people to complete the tasks. They will develop and space research company with the goal of developing a mission that will gather data on an Earth-like planet. Throughout the unit students will study changing understandings of the universe and the competition to innovate that has existed between countries throughout history. Ultimately, the students will reflect on the process of innovation throughout the unit and develop an understanding of what facilitates an external culture of innovation as well as one’s own ability to be innovative.

Project: Students will take on the role of engineers and develop research company that will eventually travel to and explore an Earth-like planet somewhere in the universe. This will require thorough scientific understandings of Earth’s processes, the history of space exploration, and various means of research, documentation, and communication of their team’s understandings.

Students’ final projects will include a website for their company as well as a working model of their space rover. The final project is a competition, and each company will compete for money from investors (visitors to their exhibition) as well as a rover race with other companies called the “Space Race.”


Essential Question: What drives innovation?


  • Science – Modeling, analyzing, and gathering data on the Solar System.
  • Math – Scale, rates, and ratios, integers and scientific notation. Building and revising scale models of the universe using ratios and proportions.
  • History – change and continuity, event significance, perspectives. An examination of the Space Race during the Cold War will provide a historical case study.
  • English Language Arts – Fiction reading will include Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner. Non Fiction reading will include a mixture of historical primary and secondary sources, in addition to current events found on Newsela.
  • Design Technology-Vector drawing, CAD designing, 3D printing, laser cutting, and coding

21st Century Skills Focus: Creativity & Innovation, Communication & Collaboration.

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