We want to help you and your students get the most out of every mission simulation. Whether you are taking part in a single-session field trip, or going through your school’s INFINI D Lab on a regular basis, we know every simulation has the chance to be a truly transformative experience for the students. Please always keep in mind that the way the students go into their simulations has the greatest impact on the way they come out. We have done our best to prepare various resources to help in preparing the students without requiring any massive changes to existing lesson plans. Each experience is geared to focus more on knowledge application as opposed to knowledge acquisition as the students actively engage in the 4 C’s – Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Creative Thinking. Below you will find the necessary details and resources which will result in the following typical timeline:
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Once your mission has been scheduled, here are the steps to prepare for an amazing mission experience:
Review Mission Details
Every mission has multiple resources designed to help the teacher and the flight director prepare for the mission: the teacher prep sheet, mission summary, mission guide, and the mission walkthrough.
- Teacher Prep Sheet: The prep sheet is a one-page document designed to go over the most important concepts the students need to be prepared for. This has all the critical details gathered into one place.
- Mission Summary (optional): The summary identifies the curriculum standards addressed in the mission and the background knowledge needed by students for optimal results. The summary also provides helpful details to use while briefing the students (or in lay terms, while introducing the mission story.) Keep in mind that it is possible to customize a mission to give greater emphasis to a particular standard. If desired, the teacher can work with the flight director to make the modification.
- Mission Guide (optional): The guide provides scene-by-scene descriptions which show what the students will encounter on their mission. This document is geared more towards preparing the flight director, but teachers will also find it useful to get a better understanding of pacing and the order in which objectives are addressed.
- Mission Walkthrough (optional): This video takes viewers on a fly-through of the mission showing how the mission begins, develops, and ends. Examples are provided of the choices students can make and solutions they can find that will get the best results. Understanding how student decision making and problem solving will influence the end results is very helpful to the flight director and can also be helpful for the teacher in preparing students for the mission.
If your mission is scheduled soon and you haven’t yet received any of these resources, please contact your flight director or send an email to email@example.com.
Each student will be given a unique role to play during the mission. These roles most often include Captain, 1st Officer, Pilot, Sensors, Communications, Tactical, Damage Control, Engineer, Science, Operations, Medical, and Security. Although these roles contribute to the success of the mission, how well the students perform in accomplishing their individual “jobs” is secondary to the learning objectives for the mission.
This site is designed to give students a general introduction to the roles they will be assigned for their missions and allows the students to train for their upcoming launch. We strongly encourage teachers ensure that students spend some time either in class or at home working through the training materials to become familiar with their roles before the mission flight date. The primary training is found under the “ROLE” tab of this site. The other tabs are optional and allow students to explore more on their own.
Some teachers prefer to assign the roles to their students while others prefer to post the available roles and allow the students to self-select. Some teachers incorporate writing at this point in the process and ask students to write a persuasive paragraph to “apply” for a specific “job.” Teachers are free to manage the assignment of roles in whatever way works best for them and their students. The following resources will help streamline the role assignment process:
CREW SIZE BREAKDOWN: Missions are most effective when the crew has fewer than 15 students. We recommend breaking a class into two halves and flying the mission twice. If a class has more than 30 students, teachers should coordinate with their flight director on where to place the additional students. (CLICK HERE)
ROLE DESCRIPTIONS: The roles vary in difficulty and personality type. If students self-select roles, the students tend to select roles that they perceive to be easiest and most interesting to them whereas assigning students allows teachers to place students in roles that challenge the students’ ability levels and stretch the students’ perceived areas of competence. Teachers should consider whether it is best to have students in roles that reinforce their ability level and range of interests or to have students in roles that require that the students stretch beyond their comfort level. (CLICK HERE)
TEACHER CREW SHEET: You can use this sheet to keep track of the roles that have been assigned. Please fill in each role based on how the Crew Size Breakdown and Role Description sheets instruct. (CLICK HERE)
OFFICER REGISTRY: (Optional) This form can be filled in and given out to the students to inform them of their role assignments, guide their training, and help get them even more excited about the mission. (CLICK HERE)
InfiniD missions are unique in that not only do they provide experiential learning experiences for the students while in the InfiniD Learning lab, but they also can be an effective tool to increase the engagement of students in the regular classroom. We find that the most effective way to increase engaged learning in the classroom is by doing the follow:
- Brief the students several days before their mission. Depending on how the mission will integrate with the teacher’s planned lessons, the briefing can even be done 2-3 weeks before the launch date. Teachers will find the briefing in the “Mission Summary” document. Teachers should share only the story details included in the briefing to allow students to experience the unfolding of the story on their own.
- Remind the students of the upcoming mission objectives every time a topic is introduced that ties into the mission. For example, before teaching a math concept that will be essential to a mission, a teacher might say: “Remember, in our next mission you will need to rescue people stranded on a planet, and if you don’t know how to do this you might all die in space!” These kinds of cues will improve how well the students engage in the math lesson.
- Teach YOUR LESSONS. The InfiniD missions are designed to give students a real-life application for the knowledge taught in their classrooms. Building the missions around state standards allows teachers to integrate the missions into their yearly lesson plans. One of the main goals of the simulation is to provide students a meaningful reason for applying themselves in the classroom. It is our hope that students will no longer think that they are learning material only so they can regurgitate it later for test taking. We hope students will be more engaged if they know that they can apply what they learn in a real-life problem centered mission that will transfer to their real lives.
- Make time for training. Assigning students to watch the training videos and to become familiar with the concepts of space flight and exploration can have a major impact on the individual and collective success of a mission. If a student becomes overwhelmed by their job, the student may miss out on more important mission objectives. However, when a student successfully meets the challenges of the job, it enhances the overall experience not just for the individual student but for the entire crew.
- Debrief students after their mission. When the students have completed their mission, be sure to follow up on what they experienced. A good debriefing session will provide a teacher with very valuable assessment information. A teacher may be able to identify a single point of misunderstanding that needs to be corrected, a lesson that needs refinement, a concept that needs further reinforcement, or a standard that requires reteaching.