Lesson 1 

Hawaiians as Space Explorers


  • To Discover and discuss reasons for exploration (past and present)
  • To investigate possible destinations humans may explore in these mordern times and the requirement of the new places for human habitation on new land or a new planet. 
Pre-Mars Unit Quiz
 Appendix 1:
Pre-Mars Unit Quiz KEY

Appendix 2:  Polynesian Exploration: Accident or Calculated 

Appendix 3:   Current State of Earth

 Map of Planets of the Solar System

Appendix 5: Earth vs. Mars vs. Venus chart

 Crossword puzzle
Appendix 6:
Crossword puzzle KEY

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1)    Administer the Pre-Mars Unit Quiz (Appendix 1).
2)    Hawaiians as Space Explorers (why would we go into space & where would be go?)
a.    Who is new to our classroom/school this year?  Why did these students move from XX to Hawai’i nei?
b.    Discuss why Hawaiians may have wanted to explore and voyage (overcrowding, unsustainable living, to leave a ruling ali’i that they didn’t like, just to explore.) Was voyage to Hawai’i and discovery by Polynesians an accident or calculated (Appendix 2)?
c.    Discuss why we might want to move (outer island, another state, etc.)
d.    Discuss why we might want to explore and voyage to another planet.
e.    Also we might have to move. In groups, students explore current environmental challenges facing Earth (and Hawaii particularly), and brainstorm about current state of the world (e.g., over-population, poverty, wars, climate change, pollution.)  Appendix 3 “Current state of the World” provided.
f.    Link to why Hawaiians may have chosen to move from Polynesia to Hawai’i and how we are still considering the same problems in our society that the Polynesians were dealing with in the past.
3)    Which planet to go to? (Brainstorm; consider different planets in our Solar system)   Use logic with the students to figure out which planet would be most suitable.  (Appendix 4 “Map of the Solar System”)
a.    Need to move to a solid planet, not a gaseous planet.
b.    Need to move to some where near to Earth, with respect to the sun, in the ‘habitable zone.”  This would be a planet with an Earth-like distance from the sun so the planet would be about the required temperature. 
c.    Have the students hypothesize about the temperature of Mars (-80F) and Venus (700F) using the location of those planets in comparison to Earth.  Mars colder than Earth, Venus hotter than Earth.
4)    Handout chart to students to research if Mars is a good choice for human habitation (Appendix 5).  Could we survive there on Mars?  Discuss the table that compares Mars, Earth, and Venus. 
Key points:
a.    If we move to Mars we would need to figure out how to breathe and stay warm. 
b.    Mars has a reasonable temperature (81 below 0) and humans live in these temperatures here on Earth already.  The very coldest place on Earth is Antarctica (129 degrees below 0!) and the place on Earth with the temperature most like Mars is found in Alaska (record is 80 degrees below 0).   People have been living in those temperatures since the Native Americans settled the area.  With the proper clothing and housing Mars is habitable. 
c.    Mars has a good “Earth-like” day length.  The rotation of Mars is most like Earth’s that helps to regulate the daily temperature of the planet.  
d.    Mars has a thin carbon dioxide atmosphere, which means there is a lack of oxygen for humans to breathe, but plants would thrive there.
e.    Possibly we could build a biosphere to live in to help us breathe.
f.    Plants could live in the biosphere for eating.
g.    Lead to building a biosphere with the class in the following weeks. 
5)    Plant seeds and seedlings for the biosphere-building lesson in a few weeks.  The plants will require a few weeks to grow before the biosphere experiment. 
6)    Summarize key points.  Handout crossword puzzle “Hawaiians as Space Explorers” for homework.
Assessment/ Performance Indicators: 

Informal Assessment:  Class discussions with question and answers

Formal Assessment: Pre-Mars Unit Quiz to be given at the beginning of Lesson 1 (Appendix 1)

Enrichment/ Extension:

Crossword puzzle "Hawaiians as Space Explorers (Appendix 6)

Standards/HCPS: Benchmark SC.ES.1.3  

“Defend and support conclusions, explanations, and arguments based
on logic, scientific knowledge, and evidence from data”

 Benchmark SC.ES.2.1 

“Explain how scientific advancements and emerging technology
have influenced society”

General Learner Outcomes:
Community Contributor: “The understanding that it is essential for human beings to work together”
Complex Thinker: “The ability to demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving”
Effective Communicator: “The ability to communicate effectively”