Grade: Middle
Subject: Computer

#1544. Space Presents Problems

Computer, level: Middle
Posted Mon Jan 31 20:05:07 PST 2000 by Melissa Cole (

Houston Middle, Germantown,TN
Materials Required: Computers
Activity Time: 2 wks. students are rotated for computer use
Concepts Taught: Students will utilize the Internet, spreadsheets, and databases to solve problems relating to space

Students should realize that they are using the computer
as a tool to solve problems. The Internet and other
computer applications should be introduced and discussed.
The teacher should train students on appropriate Internet
use as well as how to set up databases and spreadsheets.
Teacher and students should review objectives and problems.
Students may fill out a Think Sheet that will direct their
thinking prior to beginning the lesson. A Think Sheet may help
students review information or assist them in making a plan
for solving the problems. As the teacher, you may wish to provide
Internet sites prior to student investigation.

Students will gather data using the Internet.
Students will create a database of planet and moon characteristics.
Students will utilize a spreadsheet to perform calculations.
Students will create a graph using a spreadsheet application.
Students will analyze information and solve the given problems.
Students will collaborate with their peers.

Problems To Be Solved:
1. If the Earth was no longer able to sustain life, which planet would you recommend relocating to and why?
2. NASA is offering a free round trip ticket to the planets. However, there is one catch. You may only carry 50 pounds with you on the trip.
It is your job to find out which planet you wish to
visit. The weight limit must include your actual weight.
3. The weatherman has predicted a Full Moon for this evening. Is he psychic or is there a method to his madness?

Problem 1 - Groups of 2 complete research using Internet,
create database report, analyze information, discuss
problem, word process a solution to the problem.
Characteristics- planet name, average temperature, diameter,
surface area, atmosphere, gravity pull,order
from the sun
Problem 2 - Groups of 2 take turns completing a spreadsheet including
planet name, estimated weight on planet, actual weight on planet. Create graph. Analyze graph. Collaborate with peers.
Word process a solution.
Problem 3- Students investigate the phases of the moon and days of the month that
each phase occurs. Students complete database including phase name, day of the month the phase occurs on and a
brief description of moon shape. Word process solution to the problem.

Evaluation: Students will be graded using a rubric that indicates to what degree of success
the students were able to accurately anlayze data and answer the given problems.