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Exploration: Then and Now – Transportation Lesson

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Jamestown — Exploration: Then and Now - Godspeed, one of the ships that carried the Jamestown settlers



Grade Levels

Grades 5-8


Earth Science, Engineering Design, History, Mathematics, Technology, Geography, Historical Overviews, Geometry, Satellites, Space Vehicles


Lesson Plans / Activities

This lesson will help your students answer the question:
How do vessel design, navigation and propulsion affect exploration?
In this lesson, students will
– Measure and compare the two-dimensional and three-dimensional space of the Godspeed, one of the ships that carried the Jamestown settlers, with that of the Orion spacecraft, the crew exploration vehicle, or CEV, that will carry astronauts back to the moon.
– Use a compass to identify intersecting points to demonstrate how the Global Positioning System, or GPS, works.
– Use a coordinate plane to identify the latitude and longitude of a specific location on a map of the moon.
– Compare Landsat maps of the Chesapeake Bay with Captain John Smith’s maps of the same area.
– Use a map or a magnetic compass to identify cardinal and intermediate directions on Captain John Smith’s map.
– Construct, estimate the surface area of, and test a model kite.
– Experiment and compare how three different surface areas affect a kite’s flight.
– Design an experiment to test different propulsion systems.
– Compare challenges faced by 17th-century and 21st-century explorers.
Transportation Lesson [5MB PDF file]
The educational module Exploration: Then and Now examines four themes and compares exploration of the past and present. The module focuses on the settlement of Jamestown, the first permanent English-speaking colony in the New World, and NASA’s plans to return to the moon and reach for Mars. Each lesson consists of several student activities.
Also in this series:
Follow the Water
Human Needs