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Grade 6 Debates the Value of Space Exploration

Students had to answer the question "Is space exploration worth the cost?"
The Grade 6 classes had a chance to share their knowledge of space when they hosted a Cafe Scientifique, where students talked in small groups and shared the results of their research into space exploration and whether they felt it is worth the cost. 

“It was fun doing a summative this way,” said Kiki. “Writing a summative on paper I feel like you don’t say as much as you need or want to say, but when you’re talking you can explain your points in more depth.” 

“It was good because the main goal for us was to get information from other people,” added Charlie. “So you could express yourself with what you want to say and it’s cool because you learn new things from other people.” 

As the discussions evolved, and students moved from table to table, they got to hear different perspectives from their peers, including some that may have swayed them to change their arguments. The variety of answers is what led to valuable discussions amongst students, where they argued both sides of the issue.

“I said yes because we need to explore, or else there will be too many people on Earth,” Andrew explained. “Some of the people in Cafe Scientifique changed my mind a little bit. Like Mya, who said if we would explore Mars everyone would want to move there, and leave Earth, which I can’t disagree with. But I feel like some people would want to stay here and take advantage of people leaving—so she changed my mind a bit, but I’m still leaning towards yes.” 

“I said no because of the rocket fuel being burnt—it’s not good for the environment, and I think we should focus more on the problems that are down here on Earth instead of trying to escape to another planet,” argued Linnea. 

“I was in the middle because we are already using space light satellites and weather instruments,” added Anne. “But now it’s costly and dangerous.” 

“It’s important to look at both sides,” remarked Eliot. “But to me, the environment is more important and more of an issue right now. Space things take a long time to happen, so it’s not the main worry right now.” 

As part of creating the cafe, students were encouraged to get creative with some bringing a baguette, adding French words to their document, or even wearing berets. 

While their space unit has come to an end, many students said they enjoyed learning about the other planets, constellations and what goes into space exploration. 

“I know way more about space than I did before,” boasted Tristan.

“I liked it a lot,” said Issac. “Space is pretty cool and seeing it from other people’s perspectives was quite interesting.” 

Glenlyon Norfolk School

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We wish to acknowledge and respect the Lekwungen-Speaking Peoples on whose traditional territory we stand, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and Wsáneć Peoples whose historical relationships with the land, where we live, work, play and learn, continue to this day.