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Number Sense with Stories in Space! Clips + AI
How far away is the Moon? How many Earths would fit into Jupiter? How long would it take you to run to Voyager 1?!
In my Space Science class we spend some time learning about the size and scale of the universe. Since the numbers are SO LARGE, I have students pick a "crazy" unit to demonstrate to their classmates the size or scale of something in the universe with items or ideas that are more tangible.
- They started by picking a cosmic concept, for example how far away Voyager 1 is today.
- Students pick a fun unit; Twinkies, riding a skateboard, number of clones of their classmate Charlie, etc. and then do the math. For example, how many Twinkies would it take to stretch to Voyager 1? Some students do the actual math, others use the internet or AI to help out with this part. I have many academic levels in this course that is an elective - we jump in and use tools if needed to help out where our skills are lacking.
- Then we have fun with a short story. Using AI (Chatgpt or the like), students write a prompt like this: "Write a story using the Pixar Story spine to describe how many Twinkies it would take to reach where Voyager 1 is today". They need to take the story and shorten it to something that would be about a paragraph long, but starting with AI gives them a great start and shortens the amount of class time this would otherwise take.
- Students pull ALL of this together to create a Clips video that is 1 minute or shorter. The goal of this video is to teach students walking by a school TV (where the videos will play) something about size and scale of the universe, plus be captivated by the story!
The results were educational, captivating, and funny! The assignment is attached and enjoy this student example.
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