Sixth graders conduct Lunar Landing Science Experiment
"We call it our Mars Lander. Our students are combining three different units together. We have engineering design, forces in motion and our astronomy unit."
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — Ben Franklin Middle School students are hoping to stick an excellent landing as they conduct a lunar science experiment.
To keep the tradition alive, sixth grade Science teacher, Mr. Rodney Volk is celebrating the school’s 20th year conducting the Lunar Landing Science experiment with students.
“We call it our Mars Lander. Our students are combining three different units together. We have engineering design, forces in motion and our astronomy unit. So, we put all of those together and as a result the students create a project where they have vessel and inside the vessel is an egg and out principles are kind enough to go to the top of the third story building for us, drop it off our ultimate goals is to see if they can divert the energy around the egg and into the vessel for survival,” Ben Franklin Middle School Science Teacher Rodney Volk said.
One student who took part in the experiment says she really had to put her critical thinking skills to the test.
“What I did is I had some popsicle sticks and I glued some together for a frame and then I held them together with some crafting wire. So, I suspended my egg in the middle of the box frame and what I’m hoping it does is it absorbs the energy when it hits,” 6th Grader Ella said.
Volk says the project also gives students the opportunity to bond with their families once home from school.
“It’s a hands-on experience. Most of this project is done at home with their parents. It doesn’t cost anything, and it’s just a great project where they can work on it with brothers, sisters, moms, dads, anybody in the household who willing to give a hand and we have some really amazing project that show up,” said Volk.
The project has also helped students explore and start conversations in other areas of science, technology, engineering and math.
“They’re super excited about Elon Musk and the SpaceX program and they want to be part of it. We hear a lot every day about the potential missions to Mars and our students are excited to know that they are going to be a part of that, maybe they’ll be on Mars or maybe they’ll be engineers and the people designing machines that will take people to Mars,” Volk said.
Volk says hands-on learning has shown how students can flourish in different ways.