The Lunar Challenge Kit includes the Project Director's Guide, Lunar Challenge Video Clips, portfolio cover labels, one hexagonal Mission Design Team template, and a Lunar Challenge Program Video. The binder is full of the information you would need to organize a Lunar Challenge. The box is a tool kit that uses a lunar theme to develop an understanding of systems and how they fit together. Just add some young people and their parents and you are ready to go.
You will facilitate a community to design and build the first lunar colony out of recycled materials. The participants learn how systems come together. They learn how to use the inquiry method to address the problems that they face. The Lunar
Challenge was evaluated by the National Science Foundation and the NASA Explorer School program. They found that parents and students had a stronger interest in science after the Lunar
For the Challenge activity, 15 teams (with each team consisting of one parent and one child) gather four times for a two-hour session. It is designed to increase the family's participation in the student's education. The intended grade levels are grades 4 to 8.
The Project Director binder has many tabs. The Program Overview emphasizes the importance of the parent's involvement. Program Facilitation tells you how to organize the event and details the personnel needed (such as mentors). The Outreach tab outlines how to find mentors as well as encourage parent participation. The Weekly Challenge kits are well constructed. All of the materials are laminated and sturdy.
The Lunar Challenge has four sessions. Each has an introduction and an overview. Then there is a brainstorm session and a video clip that is easily accessed on the DVD. The 15 teams are divided into five Mission Design Teams (three families each), and each team designs a subsystem for the base, such as Food Storage or Food Production.
The Lunar Challenge was not designed for the homeschooling community. For us, we had to complete the challenge as a family. Though it is suggested that a team consist of one parent and one child, our household usually has two to three children per adult. We didn't have enough people to make 15 teams. A large homeschool coop might be able to complete the challenge, or a homeschool family could invite several neighboring families to compete.
As a classroom teacher, I can see how valuable this program would be to bring families together and learn more about science. The materials in the binder had comments from students about how wonderful it was to be with their parents and learn with them. The kit is well put together. The guidelines and expectations are clear. I believe that the program would do great things for science education and family dynamics. The Lunar
Challenge has won many awards.
Ednovations did a great job putting this product together. As a homeschooling family, however, we are going to pass on putting together a Lunar
Challenge. Sometimes you just have to choose the best thing to do with your family from a sea of good things.