Grade 3 are currently working on their Space & Place unit, which focuses on the following NGSS standards:

5-ESS1.1 – Support an argument that differences in the apparent brightness of the sun compared to other stars is due to their relative distances from the Earth.

5-ESS1.2 – Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky.

As part of the unit, students have been working on a sequence of activities in the Design Lab, including:

  • Constructing scale models of planets in the solar system
  • Constructing a scale model of the distance between planets in the solar system
  • Design Challenge: Mars landing module

To Scale: The Solar System”

Design Challenge: Mars Landing Module

Students examined the “Curiosity” Mars rover mission and explored some of the factors affecting the landing of the rover. Their design challenge is to create their own version of the landing module. Their craft needs to safely land a rover on the surface of Mars – in this case the “rover” is an egg that needs to land (without breaking) in the “drop zone” 2 storeys below – aided by their module design.


  • Students must work to a budget, meaning they need to be intentional about the materials they use
  • The egg must not break during the final test
  • The module must land in the “drop zone”

“7 Minutes of Terror: Landing the Mars Rover”


G3 Space and Place