Below is a list of teacher tips to help
you make the most of your Space Station Alpha e-Mission experience.
A. e-Mission: Space Station
- A minimum of four 45-minute class periods
are recommended for the entire program. Students familiar with the background
material fly the best missions.
B. During Pre-Mission Preparation
(Lessons 13 and 14)
- After you have divided your class into
teams, have every student practice the calculations required to complete the
tables and graphs. Every team has a set of practice data that students can use
to practice making calculations. This exercise increases the students’ comfort
and confidence. During the mission itself, the data comes regularly at 5 minute
intervals. Your students need to be able to calculate quickly and accurately.
- Have all students graph the practice data.
This is important. The students learn what the data means. Graphs let them
visualize what is taking place.
- Using a straightedge and pencil, have the
students transfer the critical condition levels specified in the team reference
guides to their graphs.
- The students must become familiar with the
data report form so that they know what they will be reporting to Mission Control.
- Do a test link-up with the Challenger
Learning Center® Mission Control. Make sure you will have the best possible
connection for mission day.
C. Mission Day
- Make sure ALL forms required during the
mission (report forms, diagrams, data slips, graphs, table tents, etc.) are
copied and ready to go before the students arrive in the classroom.
- Use a different color paper for each
team’s report forms. This will help the Communications Team distinguish
- Follow classroom set-up instructions for
the number of students in your class.
D. Communications Team
- This team can function with two students.
One student is the primary communicator, the Communications Officer, who
speaks with the Flight Director via a microphone. The data officer types the
data into the data board and communicates through the chat window.
- The Communications Officer will be responsible
for receiving all the messages and categorizing each according to its priority
level. He or she will verbally communicate all information to Mission Control,
and then turn it over to the Data Officer. Finally, he or she is responsible for
getting the attention of specific teams or the entire group when asked to do so
by Mission Control. The Communications Officer must be able to “work the room,”
motivate the Crisis Management Team members, and make sure that Mission Control
is receiving a steady supply of information.
- Select an outgoing person to be the Communications
Officer. This person needs to be comfortable with the sound of his or her own
voice because he or she will be talking the whole time.
Data Officers, student(s) in charge of the data/chat window,
need to be fairly adept at typing. A lot of numbers will be
typed, and speed and accuracy are important.
- The Data Officer needs to be fairly adept at
typing. A lot of numbers will be typed, and speed and accuracy are important.
E. Radiation Team
The Radiation Team needs to pay close attention to the
differences in the readings from the two TEPCs on board. This will indicate whether
or not the team’s shielding recommendations are effective.
F. Life Support Team
- The Life Support Team tracks the oxygen
and carbon dioxide levels on board the Space Station Alpha. They graph the data
and look for critical conditions.
G. Crisis Management Team
The Crisis Management Team should have worked through the same pre-mission
preparations; calculations, graphs, and tables in order to understand the data.
The Crisis Management Team will receive power reading and battery levels.
Have a large diagram of Space Station Alpha located where the whole class can see it.
There should also be a chalkboard, flip chart, or white board where the Crisis Manager
can record the current status of the space station. Here's an example:
||Stationary TEPC showing lethal ranges