5th graders in Study Group will be have the option of studying the following units: (1) Texas Getaway, (2) Designing Spaces, or (3) From Surviving to Thriving on Mars.

Texas Getaway

  • Fifth-grade students will budget and plan for a family getaway in the state of Texas. Summer travel includes one of the following theme parks located in Texas—SeaWorld, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Six Flags over Texas, Schlitterbahn (Galveston, New Braunfels, South Padre
    Island, or Corpus Christi)—and a visit to one of the specified Texas historic sites. Students must research the significance of the historic site and calculate the duration and cost of the trip. They will include food, gas, lodging, and admittance costs with the goal of remaining under budget.

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Designing Spaces

  • In this task, students study how mathematics applies to architecture and the creation of designed environments. Students explore how various designs relate to human needs and functions by observing their environments, drawing, graphing, and taking measurements. Students research a period of architecture, a particular style, or a famous architect of their choosing and analyze the way the architect uses geometric forms and mathematical patterns in his/her works. Individually, students work to design and build a variety of architectural spaces within the classroom using simple materials such as dowel rods and fabric. Finally, students present their works to an audience by leading guided tours through their structures during the Student Showcase.

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From Surviving to Thriving On Mars

  • In this task, students will analyze Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and make observations on whether these areas are fulfilled in their own lives. Students will then research (through the use of provided links and independent exploration) the planned colonization of Mars by the Mars One project and other prospective missions. They should make careful observations of whether each level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is being met for colonists in the Mars One plan. Students will design a product to address a perceived need the Mars colonists will have. Once the proposal is complete, the students will survey peers, family, and/or the local community to determine the
    general interest level in the product. Students will represent this categorical data through the use of graphs, charts, and tables.

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