Aliens, Planets and Nebulae! Mission 3: Rescue Operation in a Space Log

Mission: Rescue Mission in the Y-Nebula

Level(1-5): Level 2 (carnivorous sunflowers may pose a risk)

Location: Y-Nebula

Description: Deep in the Y-Nebula, there is a cluster of stars that a Mathematical Astronomical Science Society (MASS) ship got lodged in a tumbling space log. The ship is called the Shippy-McShip-Face (SMSF) and it’s mission is to study the carnivorous sunflowers that grow in the space logs of the Y-Nebula. Don’t be deceived, space logs are actually gigantic carbon tubes that are thousands of kilometers in diameter. The ship got lodged in a small hole on the surface of Log-4258.

MASS has decided to have your crew go out and help dislodge the SMSF from the space log. The ship is a cylinder with a radius of 20 meters and length of 80 meters. It got stuck perfectly centered in an equilateral triangular hole. Keep in mind that the crew must be cautious of the carnivorous sunflowers on the ground. They grow like grass in a yard and feast on any carbon-based life. If killed, they grow three in their place almost instantly. However, they close up when exposed to rhythmic music (especially fiddle tunes or bluegrass banjos).

Assignment: The crew needs to come up with a solution to dislodge the SMSF cylindrical ship from Log-4258. They must find the dimensions of the triangular hole. Forcefully pulling/pushing the ship through is not an option, because the ship’s hull with rupture. Space logs are made up of very dense carbon material (so dense, that they are clear – think diamond). Your crew may need to research this topic to be successful.

Note: This is a good time for the facilitator to add conditions for solutions to incorporate other subjects (science, history, writing).

Ability Point Potential (rough rubric):

  • 2 ability points will be awarded for clearly showing how the dimensions of the triangle can be found
  • 1 ability point will be awarded for a clear drawing or model of the solution
  • 2 ability points will be awarded for presentation
  • 1 ability point will be awarded for making the presentation into a poem or song.
  • Additional points for project-based rubric that facilitator adds

Facilitator Notes:

  • If solutions do not account for the sunflowers or destroy the ship:
    • Decrease ability points and add to the narrative
      • crew members now have scars from sunflower bites
    • A destroyed ship resulted in a loss of years of research and therefore a loss of ability points.
  • Have learners play with compasses, and rulers to allow for the discovery of how to inscribe a circle (help as needed).
  • For other subject matter exposure, learners can dive into diamonds, lasers, saws, pressure, ship hull designs, etc.

Mission 3 Wrap-up

Once learners are ready, have them present their solutions. If there are key pieces missing then ask questions. Discussion is key here – encourage problem-solving even during their presentation. The facilitator and learners may opt for iterations of their solutions.

Once solutions are finalized, award ability points.

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