Searching for Just the Right Planet
Links verified on 1/1/2012
It is now the year 2055. Z-Tech, a large multi-national company, wants to put a space hotel in orbit around one of the other planets in our solar system. Your class has been given the job of searching for the perfect location for this hotel. You have two weeks before Z-Tech expects a report on which planet would be the best place for an orbiting space hotel.
You are to write a report recommending which planet should be chosen. Your report should include pictures of the planets you examined and several pictures of the one you recommend. Here are some things that you should consider in making your recommendation to Z-Tech.
- Which planet will be the most interesting to look at from orbit?
- How long would it take to get to the planet?
- What field trips would be possible from the hotel?
- Are there any special problems related to this planet?
- How much time would be required to make a telephone call back to Earth?
You may use any book or magazine in your classroom or in the library. In addition you will find information on each of the planets in the a multimedia encyclopedia CD-ROM. Although there are very many web sites about the planets, your groups should use only the following sites:
NASA's Solar System Exploration site has information about each of the nine planets in our solar system along with some great pictures.
NASA's Star Child web site has some interesting facts about each planet.
The Nine Planets: A Multimedia Tour of the Solar System has a large number of facts and some high quality pictures.
Welcome to the Planets This is a collection of many of the best images from NASA's planetary exploration program. The collection has been extracted from the interactive program "Welcome to the Planets" which was distributed on the Planetary Data System Educational CD-ROM Version 1.5 in December 1995. Note to Flash: There are some great pictures here!
Here are the steps for you to follow.
- First you'll be assigned to a team of 3 students. Each team will investigate a different planet. No team will investigate planet Earth. After all, we are in the year 2025 and there are already plenty of hotels orbiting Earth and even two orbiting the moon.
- One person on each team is to be named the photographer. That person (Flash) is responsible for collecting pictures of the planet to be used in your report.
- One person on the team is responsible for data collection. That person (Data) will record facts for the report to Z-Tech.
- The third person on your team (Captain Kirk) will be responsible for putting the pictures and data together in a Hyper Studio presentation which the President of Z-Tech will see. The Photographer will recommend which images of your planet (and any moons that it might have) should be presented to Z-Tech, and the data recorder will recommend which facts should be presented.
Pull your desks together, or go to a table where your group can work together. Start by writing down everything that you think you know about the planet your group is reporting on. Do not report these things as facts in your report if you can not find support for them in your research.
Next, Flash should start collecting pictures. Set up a file on your computer to collect these pictures. If you find pictures in a book or magazine that you want to use, go to the scanner and save the image to a disk. Bring the disk back to your computer and save it into your folder. Data should begin collecting data. Get the most interesting bits of information you can find. You should remember, the President of Z-Tech is a busy man and you will have only a few minutes to convince him to build the hotel around your planet.
After you have collected the pictures and the data, the group will get together with Captain Kirk to prepare a presentation to Z-Tech. You will use Hyper Studio to prepare your report and your stack should have at least 4 cards in it. Each card must have at least one picture and at least two buttons. Remember to include the names of each group member on your report.
Your project will be evaluated using the following rubric:
- Include at least five pictures of the planet or its moons
- Include at least five specific facts about the planet
- All group members participate in the report
- Include at least five slides in your PowerPoint show
- Each PowerPoint slide has at least one planet picture and two buttons which perform different tasks
An Excellent rating will result in a grade of A for each member of the group
- Include at least four pictures of the planet or its moons
- Include at least four specific facts about the planet
- Most group members participate in the report.
- Include at least four slides in your PowerPoint show
- Each PowerPoint slide has at least one planet picture and one buttons.
An Advanced rating will result in a grade of B for each member of the group
- Include at least two pictures of the planet or its moons
- Include at least three specific facts about the planet
- Only one group members presents the group report.
- Include at least two slides in your PowerPoint show
- Each PowerPoint slide has at least one planet picture or one button.
An Accepted rating will result in a grade of C for each member of the group
- Include at least one pictures of the planet or its moons
- Include at least two specific facts about the planet
- No group members participate in the report.
- You have only one slide in your PowerPoint show.
A Novice rating will result in a grade of D for each member of the group
Your class has looked at each of the other planets in our solar system. You should be able to recognize each planet, and you should know which ones have solid surfaces that could be landed on. Based on what you know about these planets think about these questions:
- Do you think that people from planet Earth will ever travel to one of these planets?
- Could people from Earth survive on the surface of any planet or moon?
- Could extra-terrestrial humans be living somewhere in our solar system right now?
- Would you like to be on the crew of a mission to another planet?
Check out the National Space Science Data Center if you want to find out more about any of the objects in our solar system.
Wow! Check this out! They're talking about space tourism! Read about it from CNN .
Originally written in 1997
Last updated January 1, 2012
Based on a template from The Webquest Page