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The Orion Missions
The Orion Missions
The Orion missions are NASA-sponsored missions to send astronauts to the Moon and then to Mars by 2030. In the unit plan, students collaborate to apply sixth grade earth science and math standards, as well critical thinking and problem solving skills to design solar panels for the shuttle missions to Mars. Following the engineering design process, students construct a solar panel prototype that incorporates the use of coding to tilt and rotate to obtain the maximum amount of sunlight each day.
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
Choose from a range of materials and/or methods of traditional and contemporary artistic practices to plan and create works of art.
Produce three-dimensional works of art using a variety of media/materials (e.g. clay, papier-mâché, cardboard, paper, plaster, wood, wire, found objects, fiber).
Use technology in the production of original works of art.
Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the uses and conservation of various natural resources and how they impact the Earth.
Ask questions to determine the differences between renewable/sustainable energy resources (examples: hydro, solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, biomass) and nonrenewable energy resources (examples: nuclear: uranium, fossil fuels: oil, coal, and natural gas), and how they are used in our everyday lives.
About the Teacher
Thomson Middle School
Houston County Schools
Terra McMillan is a NASA enthusiast with an innate passion for teaching science. She began her teaching career in Miami, Florida in 2001, and after 4 years of teaching, was awarded National Board Certification in Early Adolescence Science. Over her 17-year career, Terra has won several awards and grants to include the 2015-2016 Air Force Association State Teacher of the Year Award and the 2017 NSTA Vernier Technology Award. When teaching her 6th grade Earth Science classes, Terra loves to incorporate coding and mathematics to enrich the lessons. She is currently the STEM Coordinator, Science Department Chair, and NSBE Jr. Club Advisor at Thomson Middle School in Houston County, Georgia. Terra holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Barry University. She has a Master’s of Science in Education degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University.