Launching new inquiries through Primary: From Mars to Ancient Egypt

This year our inquiry lines are getting smarter in the Primary and Middle years. This term, one exciting example has been Mission to Mars, run by the Year 5 students.

These investigations have been designed with a holistic approach, by using IB Methodologies from the Primary Years Programme. The school has recently been accepted as a candidate for this programme, which focuses on student-led and transdisciplinary learning. The objective is to connect our students with the global context in which we live and learn.

Year 5 students have been learning about Mars and whether life would be possible on the red planet. 

Our students received a letter from NASA inviting them to take part in the Mars 2020 mission that will be launched in July. Before applying, they had to find out whether they were fit enough to be an astronaut, so they had a training session. And we discovered that…most of them were! 

But life on Mars can be very hostile: dust storms, extreme temperatures, growing food, building shelter…how will we survive once we get there? Our Year 5 students learnt about the geography and geology and designed a brochure to invite tourists to visit Mars. They also carried out an experiment to learn about the ph, so as to know what plants will grow on Mars. They designed their shelter using renewable energies and insulation materials to protect us from the cold. They even designed their own rover to explore the red planet!

As part of the theme, our students welcomed Mr Szymon Wesolowski, a parent of one of our pupils. He came to share his experience working for the European Space Agency and helped them understand more about the advances in space exploration and to how technology will impact in the future. Here is the video of his talk.

Using the same methodologies and objectives, the students in Year 4 presented their findings on Ancient Egypt to their parents. They are completely immersed in the Egyptian world while comparing it to our modern society.