Australian Virtual Astronaut (AVA) Challenge
Australian Virtual Astronaut (AVA) Challenge
Topic: STEM challenge
Dates: October 8 – November 12, 2021
Do you think you’re isolated? Try being in space!
You are part of a team of astronauts creating a Family Home Outpost (FHO) on the Moon. How do survive? How do you thrive? Solve the problems that astronauts face in this Australian Virtual Astronaut (AVA) Challenge.
Your team are on the Moon. You need to produce food in order to support life on the Moon.
- How are we going to sustainably grow food on the Moon?
- How do we ensure this food is nutritious?
- How can the environment affect your food?
- How can the food be stored?
- Does the food produce enough energy?
Design an experiment, device or environment that can grow food on the Moon.
- Lack of resources
You have 6 weeks!
- Assess your resources
- Identify the problem
- Brainstorm ideas
- Produce potential solutions
- Students participate in a design thinking process for solving a lunar challenge.
- Students upload a 1-minute video that showcases a student designed solution for growing something on the Moon and tag it using #virtualastronautau
Teachers register to get your unique webinar link
Tuesday, October 5 at 4:30pm AEST.
Weekly missions with live streams every Friday at 9:30am AEST, starting Friday 8 October
Week 1 – Define & Identify the Challenge – 8 October 2021
Week 2 – Brainstorm – 15 October 2021
Week 3 – Design & Prototype – 22 October 2021
Week 4 – Evaluate – 29 October 2021
Week 5 – Iterate – 5 November 2021
Week 6 – Communicate – 12 November 2021
Do students need to do more work outside of the 1-hour webinars?
It’s up to you! This STEM unit has been designed to be flexible and it is optional to be involved in the design aspects outside of the 6 x 1 hour webinars. However, we encourage everyone joining the challenge to consider this as a deep engagement opportunity for students that can be incorporated into weekly teaching & learning as your timetable permits.
Will there be breakout rooms with students?
No, due to the large number of schools & students involved, your students will be on this webpage watching the live stream.
This webinar will involve panellists discussing the challenge & posting questions that can be answered by your students using AhaSlides. Should your students have questions for the panellists, they can send them to you in your LMS or even via email. You can then raise these questions via the Q & A during the webinar. Please note, not all questions will be able to be answered live due to the number of schools & students involved.
Will the webinars be recorded?
Find out more about the resources
Learn more about the Exolab 10 mission in October 2022
Download the Australian Virtual Astronaut (AVA) week 1 design folio to complement the webinar. In this weeks folio we set the scene for the associated design activities. Teachers can chose to use all the materials, some or none.
Download the Australian Virtual Astronaut (AVA) week 2 design folio to complement the webinar. In this weeks folio students use the Define, Brainstorm and Evaluate Cogs of the iSTEM process. Students need to brainstorm ideas to define what their idea is going to be.
Download some more information about the iSTEM process to get more ideas for activities that you can do with students related to each of the cogs.
Dowload the Australian Virtual Astronaut (AVA) week 3 design folio to complement the webinar. In this weeks folio students use the Brainstorm, Design and Evaluate Cogs of the iSTEM process and will learn about drawing their ideas and plants. Students will also have instructions about training like an astronaut.
Week 3 Supporting Resources
Train Like an Astronaut – Peake Lift Off
Mission Question: How could you perform a series of physical activities that would improve your lungs and heart, and increase muscular coordination and endurance?
Download Teacher Guide:
Student Pre Survey
Aldrin Foundation – Home on the Moon project
Google slides to present to students
Teacher Ideation board on Trello by Hargraves Institute
The iStem Process
Engineers are cooking ways to grow fresh food in space
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD
Deep Space Food Challenge
ISS National Laboratory – Space Station Explorers
NASA – Growing food in space
Hawaii Space Exploration Analog + Simulation (HI-SEAS) base
Invertigrow – used in Hawaii Space Exploration Analog + Simulation (HI-SEAS) base
NASA – Houston We Have a Podcast
Plants in space
NASA – Explore Moon to Mars
NASA – Train like an Astronaut
NASA Podcast: Mission Patches
Lunar science teaching ideas