Planet Project – The Cosmicon
6th Grade Science Students worked in partners/small groups to design a planet that would work within a system, as well as evaluate whether that planet would be able to support any sort of life. This project covered many of the AZ Astronomy standards for 6th grade and allowed for student voice and creativity in the project. Students made poster boards with information about their planet and the kind of life it may contain, 3D models of their planets, and a stamp for their planet with a special, individualized logo.
Students worked with a Community Share Partner, a planetary geologist from the University of Arizona, to talk about their projects and whether their planets could support life. Then, students participated in “The Cosmicon,” an inter-galactic science fair to present their projects. Students “visited other planets” by seeing other student projects (they also presented to the 5th graders) during the Cosmicon. They got their passports stamped at each planet as they traveled around the cosmos! This project was a wonderful way for students to be engaged in their learning, express their creativity, learn a wide range of astronomical concepts, interact closely with a research scientist, and most importantly gain a deeper appreciation for our special planet earth and its ability to support life as we know it.