Scott MacDonald, a grade level coordinator and Grade 4 teacher at the GEMS American Academy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates named a Uwingu Mars crater with his classroom students.
We wanted to share a little about the terrific project and his strategy for getting the kids involved. We asked him a few questions about the process.
How did you hear about Uwingu?
I heard about Uwing when I was reading an issue of Focus magazine.
Were you able to use the Mars map in any class activities, lessons, and assignments? If so, how?
As an elementary teacher I am always trying to look for science activities to wow the student or facts that will spark some curiosity. We are an International Baccalaureate (IB) school with an American Curriculum, and within the elementary section with follow the Primary Years Program (PYP), which is broken up into 6 units. For our unit on “How the World Works”, we focus on the solar system and it’s planets. Students were broken up into small groups and given a task of creating vacation guides for different planets. I presented the naming of the crater as a celebration of completing our solar system unit, and way to remember such a successful unit and year as this unit was competed near the end of the academic school year.
How did you choose the final name for the crater?
To come up with the name of the crater, each group came up with a potential name then we voted as a class for the best name that would represent us forever on Mars. **See their crater here.
How did you choose the location of your crater?
As for the location, each group wrote a persuasive essay to convince me which location would be best. The winning essay discussed a location that may have a future space station so our crater may be mentioned for years to come and size that Mr. Scott (me) could afford so I wouldn’t become broke (they are hilarious).
Do you have plans to name additional craters with future classes?
I will repeat this activity again this upcoming year, as it was the first time I tried this, and it was a huge success.
We want to THANK Scott for taking the time to incorporate Uwingu into his lesson plans and encourage other teachers, parents and educators to consider a similar learning opportunity!