Below is a list of tips for teachers and Learning Centres to help you make the most of your students' e-Mission experience.
Preparation is VERY important
For teachers or City Learning Centres involved in the Planet Science project we recommend a minimum of 3 hours preparation to familiarise students with the important material. We have found that students who are prepared for their tasks before the mission get much more out of the experience and have the best missions. It is very important to have students practice with the idea of real-time data, the process of working through the data, and using report forms before the mission begins. Go to the Team Materials page for the practice instructions for each team. The answers for you are on the Practice Data Answers page.
For the preparation tasks split the group into the 3 teams - Evacuation Team, Volcano Team and Hurricane Team using the tips below on how to choose the team members. The Communications team can be selected at the last moment from suitable students within the other teams or can be told as to their role before the mission but do the preparation materials with one of the other teams.
After you have divided your class into 3 teams (Evacuation, Volcano and Hurricane), have every student practice the calculations required to complete the tables and graphs or to evacuate towns. Every team has a set of practice data or instructions that they can use to practice making calculations and decisions. 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 students must become familiar with the Data Report Form so that they know what they will be reporting to Mission Control.
Do a test link-up with The National Space Centre's e-Mission Control a week ahead of time. In this way, you can make sure you will have the best possible connection.
Plan an alternative connection incase the primary link fails mid-mission.
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. This is preferably an attending teacher with a mobile phone. A speaker phone is also good in the event that the Internet connection fails during the mission.
Have a technical support person on call.
1. Make sure ALL documents required during the mission (report forms, maps, graphs, etc.) are copied and ready to go before the students arrive in the classroom.
2. Use a different colour paper for each team’s report forms. This will help the Communications Team distinguish one team’s reports from the other.
3. Tell Mission Control at what time your mission must end.
4. Tell Mission Control if there is anything else going on in the school that may affect the mission. (e.g. fire drill, break time etc...)