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Bronxville Middle School Sixth-Graders Build Lunar Colonies

Bronxville Middle School sixth-graders worked together to investigate what it takes to live on the moon before building their own models of possible lunar colonies.
Bronxville Middle School sixth-graders worked together to investigate what it takes to live on the moon before building their own models of possible lunar colonies. Photo Credit: Bronxville Union Free School District

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- As part of an i2 Learning experience from May 16-20, Bronxville Middle School sixth-graders worked together to investigate what it takes to live on the moon.

Throughout the week, students discovered how to supply water, food and air to the moon before building their own models of possible lunar colonies. The students applied their science, technology, engineering and math skills through a variety of hands-on, interdisciplinary activities. They learned about the geology and topography of the moon in order to decide how they could build their colonies.

“It brought the whole sixth grade together,” science teacher Frank Viggiani said of the project. “The students spent the entire week building up all of the skills they had learned into the final project. They were presented with real-life situations and had to solve everything on their own. Every colony was different and had a different perspective.”

As part of the learning experience, the sixth-graders built and tested air filters made out of shoe boxes, coffee filters and powder. They also tested water filters, planted seeds in greenhouses, crafted astronauts’ suits and space rockets, and built robotic arms out of cardboard, straws, paper clips and tape. Some lunar colonies featured cell towers for communication with Earth, as well as transportation, shopping malls, emergency room centers and solar panels.

“It’s cool that on Earth we have all these supplies, and water and oxygen are just there,” sixth-grader Kiki Tormey said. “But on the moon, we have to supply it and bring it, which is harder than you think.” Viggiani said he was impressed by the students’ creativity and knowledge and the variety of projects put on display for parents at the end of the week. i2 Learning, an organization that works with scientific and academic institutions, provided training to all sixth-grade teachers at Bronxville Middle School.

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