Just last week a group of teachers gathered at Johnson City High School to experience a project based learning session from the Challenger Learning Center through video conferencing. They spent the morning engaged on the Hurricane, Evacuation, or Volcano team trying to keep up with the flow of information from NOAA satellites and seismology reports from Mission Control while moving the inhabitants of Monserrat to safe haven from weather and lava flows. The good news? They were successful in their mission and all inhabitants arrived safely in shelters across the island.
Exciting? You bet!!! One teacher burst out with “This is the most fun I’ve had in a long time in a school project!” Tied to the curriculum….yes, indeed! The cross curricular mission has pre-mission day lessons that are tied to math, science, social studies and language arts standards.
For the afternoon, the teachers moved into a high school level mission in which they took on the roles of medical teams on a Mercy Ship and had to evaluate, order tests and diagnose patients in the Amazon region of Brazil. The Chief Medical Officer stayed in touch with them from Virginia to verify their findings so they could order treatment. The biology and health science teachers can’t wait to get back to school to try this with their students.
If you are interested in learning more about these and other missions, go to www.e-missions.net. The teacher training is free and can be done via video conference. Student missions do incur a fee but if you contact Carol Teitelman at ESC Region 13, there is a discount available. All of the student materials are on the website and you can use them freely even if you don’t reserve a mission…but try not ot miss the experience!