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

Mission Day

Mission Day

Mission Day PDF

Real-Time Data

Data Answer Key

Power Systems Calculator

Mission Day Tips

Mission Day Tips PDF

Link to Post Brief Questions

Tips for A Successful Mission  

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 Alpha—program
1. A minimum of 15, 45-minute class periods is recommended for the entire program. Of course you may choose to do fewer lesson plans, depending on the instructional needs you have. Students familiar with the background material conduct the best missions. At a minimum, students need to be fluent in conducting mission day calculations, and the meaning of the concepts presented in their team reference guides.

B. During Pre-Mission Preparation (Lessons 13 and 14)
1. 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 they 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. The DATA race is a very useful experience. It recreates the pressures the students will experience on Mission Day.

2. 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. This is especially important while they calculate the “Time to Criticality.” As they see the line on their graphs rise and fall, they understand when conditions are normal and when there is cause for concern.

3. Using a straightedge and pencil, have the students transfer the critical condition levels specified in the Team Reference Guides to their graphs. This helps them project Time to Criticality.

4. The students must become familiar with the Data Report Form so that they know what they will be reporting to Mission Control.

5. Do a test link-up with Challenger Mission Control. In this way, you can make sure you will have the best possible connection.

6. Make sure that there is a phone in the room where the mission takes place so that you can communicate with Mission Control to work out technical problems.

7. Have a technical support person on call.

C. Mission Day
1. Make sure ALL forms required during the mission (report forms, diagrams, data slips, graphs, etc.) are copied and ready to go before the students arrive in the classroom.
2. Use a different color paper for each team’s report forms. This will help the Communications Team distinguish one team’s reports from the other.
3. Follow classroom set-up instructions for the number of students in your class.

D. Communications Team
1. The Communications Officer will be responsible for receiving all the messages and categorizing each according to its priority level. He or she determines what information needs to be communicated orally and what can be sent through the chat window. 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. The Data Officer will be sending data through the data center and additional information through the chat window. The Communications Officer, can coordinate the whole process and work directly with the Crisis Management Team members.

2. Select an outgoing person to be the Communications Officer. This person needs to be comfortable with the sound of their own voice because they will be talking the whole time. (Students who spend a lot of time talking to their friends on the phone are ideal!)

3. The Data Officer needs to be fairly adept at typing. A lot of numbers will be typed, and speed and accuracy are important.

4. The Communications Officer must develop a system to sort the colored data forms as they come in. You may wish to have six separate bins, one for each of 4 teams, one for Top Priority reports, and one for questions and answers that need to be communicated to Mission Control.

E. Storm Team
1. Make sure that the STORM Team understands that they are the “early alert” team. If there is a solar storm, they will be the first team to know it! Their Crisis Management Team member will have to communicate with the rest of the teams so that everyone has as much advanced notice as possible.

2. Have the STORM Team graph its data on a large poster board so that the class can follow the X-ray and proton data to determine if there is cause for alarm.

F. Radiation Team
1. The Radiation Team needs to pay close attention to the differences in the readings from the two TEPCs on board. This will be an indication of whether or not their shielding recommendations are effective.

G. Life Support Team
1. The Life Support Team needs to recognize that their data must stay within a prescribed range; and, therefore, they need to make sure that the oxygen and carbon dioxide does not get too low or high, respectively. This is a little bit different from the other teams as they are only concerned with graphs that track conditions that move in one “direction” with regard to Time to Criticality.

2. The Life Support Team should also pay attention to total atmospheric pressure.

H. Crisis Management Team
1. Three members of this team are also members of one of the other teams (STORM, Radiation, or Life Support). They should have all worked through the same preparations, calculations, graphs, and tables, in order to understand the data.

2. 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 erasable board to serve as the Mission Status Board, where each Crisis Manager can record the current status of the space station.

3. Each Crisis Manager should communicate regularly with his or her team to keep them informed of what is happening in the rest of the space station.

4. The Crisis Management Team will receive power readings and battery levels.

It is critical for this team to be familiar with their team’s Reference Guide so that they can suggest solutions to problems in the midst of a crisis.

Copyright 2002. Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling Jesuit University. All rights reserved.