(February 14th, 2020 — Jersey City, NJ) The second marking period thematic unit at Explore wrapped up with a project showcase led by science department teachers Ms. Lauren Norcia and Ms. Mary Norcia.
Students spent marking period two exploring Space: The Ultimate Frontier, through extensive research, design, collaboration, and communication. They became experts about astronomy and the universe in general.
The 6th and 7th graders worked in small groups on astronomy-related projects that were of interest to them. Each student created prototypes, a display board, and a technology component to inform their audience about the topics they chose.
The 8th graders focused on rocketry and created colonies on Mars. The rocket groups designed and tested various prototypes and explained their results through an informative video and presentation board. The colony groups developed blueprints and designed miniature models of functioning colonies on Mars that are able to sustain life. The students also created commercial advertisements and presentation boards to persuade others to join their colony.
“Our entire class worked on our Mars colony. I felt that this project was really relative given the current climate crisis. The idea of human beings trying to have to colonize Mars because the Earth is no longer a safe habitat is not far off. It was very difficult at first because we had to consider what resources we had. We had to brainstorm ideas for how the resources would be used. We had to consider all the problems that would be faced on Mars and how we would solve them. We had to consider oxygen, shelter, and food supplies. I really enjoyed this challenge and having the creative freedom to take it on,” 8th grader Elise Crow shared.
Ms. Mary Norcia explained, “The student's collaboration with each other on the astronomy project was amazing. They were able to incorporate their creativity by creating prototypes and videos and songs on the topic they wanted to research in the astronomy realm. Ms. L Norcia and I are very proud of Explore Middle School students for all that they have accomplished this marking period and educating their peers on their astronomy topic.”