The 8th graders are currently in the middle of a rigorous series of scientific training labs which are designed to prepare each of them in all of the Mission Science specialties prior to their “launch date” of March 3rd. Depending on their performance on the labs and their interests in the subjects, they will officially be assigned to a scientific specialty for Mission, itself. Depending on how things go in “space”, they may have to use their knowledge from the series of labs to step in and help out with any of the scientific tasks thrown at them during Mission.
Required Science Skills for Mission
Biometrics (fingerprints, bite mark geometry, and hair chemistry analysis)
Poison analysis (unit conversions and linear regressions)
Necropsy of fetal pigs
Basic space science knowledge
Primary Goals of Mission
1) Utilize the teamwork and communication skills acquired throughout their SGS tenure in a high-pressure situation.
2) Learn a variety of forensic skills and investigative techniques during the Mission prep period and combine the strategies and techniques they’ve learned with the data they’ve gathered to solve the mystery.
3) Understand that details are the difference between success and failure.
4) Use individual strengths and team collaboration in a highly structured, yet fun, environment that is relatively foreign to our students.
For an overview of the entire Mission Preparation Sequence of events from previous year, click here.
Mission teams completed their team challenge #4 today. They were given a set of 20 questions to complete in 30 minutes. They had to decide how they would divide up roles and tasks and then tackle those tasks in the best way possible. For example, in one of the questions they had to learn how to unlock a combination lock, and then decipher a Caesar cipher text to get the combination to the lock. One of the tasks asked them to complete 25 pushups as a collective team. During the debrief students said things like:
“We need to communicate better so we all know who is doing what.”
“We need to clarify roles at the beginning so everyone knows who is doing what.”
“When we were stressed and under the time pressure at the end, we started to get snippy with each other. We can’t do that. We need to stay calm.”
What great reflections on how to best collaborate as a group. This challenge was also a sneak peek at what the actual Mission will be, operating to get a lot done in a limited amount of time.
Yesterday in SJCU we wrapped up our Identity and Community Building Unit by sharing our Mockups Shoe Project in a Gallery Walk. Students placed their shoes around the room and received feedback about what the various symbols on their shoes might represent. All of the shoes had designs and symbols to represent the various areas we explored throughout the unit: core values, family and family history, passions and things held sacred. Last week, students wrote about their designs including examples of how they model their core values, both at school and away from school. This unit focused on understanding and getting to know each 8th grader as an individual and the experience each brings to the class to help create community and lay the foundation for going deeper into our next two units in SJCU: Inequality of Wealth and Feminism.