December 2015 archive

Skype chat with Tanya Harrison

skype chat

Last week our class had a Skype chat with an astroscientist named Tanya Harrison. Her line of work includes studying space but more specifically, Mars and the rovers sent there. She used to be an employee at NASA and is a professional photographer, as well as that she has a Ph.D. in geology.

During the Skype chat we talked to Tanya and asked her questions about her line of work. She was extremely knowledgeable about space and what she does and taught us a lot of things a textbook couldn’t. During the interview, each group in our class got the chance to ask Tanya a question about space, her line of work, schooling, or any general questions she’s willing to answer. Some of the questions we asked her were:

Which rover sent to Mars was she the most involved in? She worked with multiple rovers over the years but she’s been the most involved with the rover “Curiosity”.

What’s the longest time a rover has lasted in Mars? Tanya said the longest a rover has every lasted on Mars was a whopping 12 years, even though it was only supposed to last about 90 days. That record is held by the rover “Opportunity”.

How long does it take to build a rover that can be sent to Mars? Her answer was that it takes NASA about 8-10 years to design and create a rover that could be sent to Mars one day.

How much money does it cost to build a rover? Rovers are extremely expensive and it costs about 2.3 million dollars just to build one.

I thought it was a really cool experience to have Tanya Skype into our classroom. She answered pretty much all of the questions we asked her and knew something about all of them. It was a really great way to kick off our space unit in Science, and I felt like I learned a great deal from chatting with her.


Energy in our school

A partner and I chose to do our power connections project on our school. We chose to look into how our school is being energy efficient and find some answers to questions we may have about it.

The first ting we did was write up a proposal with some questions we have and things we would like to find out about our subject.20151126_094426

Some questions we wanted to have answered were:

  • What is the school doing already to save electricity/energy?
  • What uses the most energy in our school?
  • How are we working to improve the intake/consumption of electricity?
  • Are there any perks to the amount of electricity we use? disadvantages?
  • Why does our school promote the 1:1 system?
  • Could the 1:1 system be improved in any way?
  • How is the 1:1 system improving our school?
  • Is there a possibility of our school being to energy efficient?

We then put our heads together to decide who would be doing what part of our project and some general guidelines and ideas.

We decided to interview the principal of our school, Mr. Ciolfitto to ask him about our school and possibly get answers for our questions we had. we arranged a date, and after some rescheduling met with him for an interview about our project. first by email, then in person. Here is a link to the audio of our interview if you would like to know all of the information and answers to our questions:


After our interview we decided we wanted to do a video representation of our meeting with Mr. Ciolfitto. We drew out a mind map and timeline of how we wanted our video to look and used that as our outline for our video.



We put together a video slightly different then the original format. After a few altercations and work, out came a video worthy of the viewing of our classmates! (and Mr. Ciolfitto)