LEGO Education has detailed a new collaboration with NASA to launch a free digital STEAM learning series this September, designed to spark curiosity and engagement in STEAM through the upcoming Artemis I mission.
Called Build to Launch: A STEAM Exploration Series, the 10-week series includes interactive episodes and open-ended prompts grouped into three learning themes aligned with the mission: Getting to Space, Testing and Transport, and Working in Space.
Teachers will be able to implement this standards-based series for grades K-12 into their curriculum. From astronauts to engineers and flight controllers, each interactive and hands-on lesson will highlight and explain careers at NASA to inspire students to see themselves in these roles.
Students will then work together to solve problems like the NASA teams they’re learning about. Throughout the series, students will also follow along and interact with the LEGO Space Team, featuring LEGO minifigures as members of the flight and ground crews involved in a typical space mission.
Esben Stærk, president of LEGO Education, said: “We are at a pivotal moment in education, and to rethink how students learn we must provide meaningful, hands-on learning experiences. The LEGO Education and Artemis lesson series creates joyful learning moments and brings STEAM learning to life through the real-world application of space exploration – a topic that evokes curiosity and awe in students of all ages and abilities.”
Students and teachers will be able to tune into student press conferences hosted on the LEGO Education YouTube channel by LEGO Education SPIKE Prime minifigures Kate and Kyle as they prepare for the mission as part of the Space Team. Each episode will set up the theme of the next module, and students will be encouraged to submit questions ahead of time for Kate and Kyle and their NASA counterparts to answer.
The lessons were developed in collaboration with NASA to excite teachers and students about STEAM learning and Artemis I, the first in a series of increasingly complex lunar missions that will enable human exploration on and around the Moon where NASA will prepare for eventual human exploration of Mars.
During the flight, the uncrewed spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown.
As students progress through each learning module inspired by this mission, they will experience some of the important jobs leading up to launch which will test their skills like problem solving and collaboration. Students will work hands-on designing and prototyping, iteratively testing, and working together to build and assemble parts much like the stacking of the mission’s powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
“Every NASA mission requires people from a wide range of STEM careers, skills, backgrounds, and interests. Today’s students are the Artemis Generation – learning about space and the Artemis I mission through hands-on activities will introduce them to the many careers they can pursue. We look forward to their contributions to push the frontiers of scientific research and expand our understanding of the universe,” said Mike Kincaid, Associate Administrator of the Office of STEM Engagement.
The digital learning series will be made available online for free and can easily be adapted for non-tech use with materials available in classrooms everywhere or with LEGO Education sets.
Teachers and parents are invited to sign up to receive more information at LEGOeducation.com/BuildtoLaunch and be notified when the Teacher Resource Guide becomes available before the full experience launches in September 2021.