Item P2f Part2

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					                                   Exploring our Solar System
     Module P2
      Item P2f
        Part 2

In this lesson students should learn:                              Other Items in this book
 about the distances involved in space travel                     P2g
 about manned and unmanned space flight
 how very large distances are measured in space

Communication                Subject-specific vocabulary           Student book pages 238–239
Application of number        Calculation of large distances        Worksheet P2f 4
ICT                          Internet research                     Technician’s notes P2f 2
                                                                   Worksheet answers P2f 2

light–year                NASA                        probe                  remote vehicle           spacesuit

The Can-Do Task for this Item was covered in Part 1.

Activities                                                                                     Resources
 Light travels at a speed of 300 million m/s. Students calculate how long light from the Sun  Student book
   takes to reach us. Can repeat for other planets if time. Use the table on page 237 of the
   student book.
 In groups, students discuss the problems of manned spaceflight.
 Show a short extract from the film ‘ET’ or photographs of ET. Ask students whether they       Technician’s notes P2f 2
   believe there is life elsewhere in the Universe.

Learning outcomes
 Describe that radio signals take a long time to travel through the Solar System
 Explain that manned spacecraft need to take food, water and oxygen
                             Teaching and learning activities                                           Resources

Remind students that radio signals travel at the same speed as light – 300 million m/s.         Student book
Use a few ‘markers’ to convey distance on an astronomical scale. For example, look at data
on page 237 of the student book; light from the Sun takes about 8 minutes to reach us;
from the next nearest star about 4 years. Link to one problem of long manned space flights.
Ask students to suggest other problems.
Talk about the advantages of using unmanned spacecraft (probes); for example they do
not need food, water or oxygen.
Discuss ideas about how scientists are trying to find evidence for life elsewhere in the
Universe. Include the search for water on Mars, the monitoring of radio signals and the
                                                                                                Student book
universal greeting sent into space. Look at the universal greeting on page 238 of the
student book.
Learning outcomes
 Describe some of the difficulties of manned space travel between planets
 Recall that unmanned spacecraft can withstand conditions that are lethal to humans
 State that unmanned spacecraft can send back information on: temperature, magnetic field and radiation; gravity,
   atmosphere and surroundings
                             Teaching and learning activities                                             Resources

Group discussion. Divide the class into groups. Give groups 5 minutes to discuss some of
the difficulties of manned space travel between planets. A spokesperson for each group
reports back. List key points on the board. Include keeping warm, carrying sufficient fuel,
length of journey, effect of low gravity on Earth, shielding from cosmic rays, maintaining a
stable atmosphere and providing enough food and water.
Compare the problems of manned space flight with the benefits of unmanned probes that
can withstand conditions that are lethal to humans. Point out the information that can be
obtained about a planet – temperature, magnetic field, radiation, gravity, nature of
atmosphere, surroundings etc.
Class activity. Divide the class into groups, each group undertaking one task.                    Technician’s notes P2f 2
 Use newspaper archive or Internet search to investigate scientific claims that evidence
    of life has been found on Mars.
 Investigate the radio signals and messages showing the universal greetings that have
    been sent into space.
 Find out more about the information collected by unmanned space probes.

Learning outcomes
 Describe that a light–year is: a measurement of very large distances; the distance light travels in a year
 Explain the advantages and disadvantages of using unmanned spacecraft to explore the Solar System
                             Teaching and learning activities                                             Resources

Introduce the ‘light–year’ as a unit of distance. Students work out the distance light travels
in one year ( speed  time). Estimate the distance from Earth to the nearest star, 4 light–
years away.
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using unmanned spacecraft to explore the
Solar System. Include costs, safety, reliability and maintenance.
Ask students to work through Worksheet P2f 4.                                                     Worksheet P2f 4
                                                                                                  Student book

Activities                                                                                       Resources
 Some students report back on their research activity.
 Play ‘What am I?’.                                                                        Technician’s notes P2f 2
 In groups, students discuss what they would send as a universal greeting on a spacecraft
   travelling into deep space.

             LOW DEMAND                           STANDARD DEMAND                                  HIGH DEMAND
 6 1901(December 12)                          8 Environment kept similar to that on       10 5.5 hours
 7 Three from safety, time to get               Earth
   anywhere, no food needed, no               9 They can jump higher, take larger
   oxygen needed                                steps

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