Overview Lessons & Materials Pre Mission Prep. Mission Day Assessment Student Pages

Scope & Sequence

Interdisciplinary Approach

Unit : Mission Briefing  

Lesson 1 : Introduction to the e-Mission

Basic Readings

  • Introduction
  • Who We Are
  • The Next e-Mission

Recommended Readings

  • Introduction
  • Who We Are
  • The Next e-Mission
  • Montserrat
  • Join Us

Homework Due



  • Discuss e-Mission storyline.
  • Introduce concept of "simulations".
  • Motivate students to apply.


  • 20 min. Students read articles
  • 20 min. Guided discussion


e-Mission: Operation Montserrat is a simulation. Simulations help people prepare for emergencies. Simulations give us a chance to make mistakes in a safe environment and then to learn from them.

  • Students will answer questions related to the mission storyline: who, what, where, when, why and how.
  • Students will decide to apply.

Discussion Tips
The main idea that they should get from their reading is that they are going to be part of a simulation that has a specific storyline. A discussion of the storyline will create the context for all of the facts and concepts to which they will be introduced.

Special Comments
This class is one of the most important in terms of student motivation. As the "movie director", you set the scene, create the story, and help your "actors" prepare for their roles. Focus is key. The students will read several articles with a lot of facts and scientific concepts.

In this class the students read and discuss short articles which "brief" them on the coming mission. After the students read each of the articles, you should lead them in a discussion of the main ideas and the requirements for mission training.

1. Have the students read the articles. When they are finished, ask the following question: "Who knows what a simulation is?" (Simulations help people prepare for emergencies. Simulations give us a chance to make mistakes in a safe environment and then to learn from them.) Finally, discuss simulations students may be familiar with.

2. Write on the board: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How in a column. Leave room to write student responses. Discuss each story element with the students:

  • "Can you tell me who is involved in this mission?" (Mission Control and the Challenger Learning Center will be communicating any recommendations from the students directly to the officials on Montserrat. The class will provide valuable expertise as Emergency Response Experts (or Earth System Scientists) to Mission Control during the mission).
  • "What will we be doing?" (During the mission, students will serve as Emergency Response Experts (or Earth System Scientists), helping Mission Control. Prior to the mission, students will be in training, learning important science and math skills. Teamwork, creativity, and problem solving are important.)
  • "Where will the mission take place?" (You may have to answer part of this question for the students by letting them know where they will be on mission day. Mission Control is at the Challenger Learning Center. Montserrat is a small island in the Caribbean)
  • "When will we be doing this?" (Students must apply and be accepted. Then they begin their training. After training they fly the mission.)
  • "How will we prepare? How will we fly the mission?" (Preparation consists of completing the activities in the website. After completing the training activities, students will be placed into a team to complete the Pre-Mission Preparation materials. On mission day, students will download data for their teams using the computer and will communicate with Mission Control over the Internet.)

Basic Homework

  • Read: Application Process, Form a Team

Recommended Homework

  • Read: Earth System Science
  • Answer Article Review Questions
  • Complete: Science Interests Inventory