Worlds collide in Space Match! This is a chance for school students to meet up with two different professionals from the space sector over the internet and in the comfort of their own classrooms. Students get to ask questions and set challenges for the experts, and at the end, the students get a chance to vote on whose research is the best!

Learning Objectives

  • Provide an opportunity for students to connect with those working in space careers.
  • To demonstrate that there are many pathways into scientific careers and that these sorts of jobs are for anyone.
  • To better understand how these experts got to where they are now.
  • To connect students with positive role models.

Setting Details

This activity is carried out online using online teleconferencing software, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Students can either connect from their houses or from a classroom. A link to connect to the zoom meeting will be available to the students and teachers before the activity starts.

The activity takes approximately 45 minutes.

Materials needed

  1. The activity could be done via zoom or a similar platform. This meeting should be set up before the day of the activity, and someone may need to log in before the event to ensure everyone logs in successfully.
  2. It is perhaps necessary to activate an online voting method for students: at the time of voting, this may need to be done when setting up the event link, although other methods of voting are possible.
  3. The moderator will have the interview form with questions to ask the experts. The researchers would have seen these questions and agreed on their suitability before the meeting.
  4. An online form will be sent to researchers, to write some personal information about themselves before the event. This form will be given to the students in the class before the meeting, as a way of introducing the students to the experts. It will also be used by the presenter to introduce the researchers during the activity.  Click on the links below to access the template researchers sheet document: Researcher sheet_ing

Script/programme of activity

Space Match is an online meeting where a class of students are introduced to two space science experts or researchers. The teacher will moderate the meeting.

Space Match unfolds over 5 rounds, with each round being about a different aspect of the expert’s life/research topic; each guest has a set amount of time to answer the question, with the moderator keeping a close eye on the stopwatch, and stopping the speaker if they go over time.

The moderator will ask 4 questions, previously communicated to the experts. Experts will have a set time for each question to answer.

At the end of the 4 rounds, students will have 3 questions to ask each expert (total of 6 questions) and they can ask whatever they want. These questions won’t be prepared or communicated to experts before the event. For this last round, each researcher will have one minute to answer each question.

At the end of the 5 round, students will use the live voting function on zoom (or similar) and the “winning” space science field is the one that most students found the most interesting.

Example questions:

Topic Maximum  response time

Note

Round 1 How did you choose your job? 2 min  

Students may be interested in understanding how to choose their career path

 

Round 2 Make me passionate about your job. 6 min  

The researcher explains what he works with the passion for his field of research

 

Round 3 What do you think your job will be like in 15 years? 4 min  

It is exciting to give even a hypothetical projection of how his work could be when today’s students will be in the world of work.

 

Round 4 In your opinion, who is the best influencer in your research field? 30 sec  

Researcher names a person, present or past, who was the most important pop character in his field or an example of inspiration for him

 

Round 5 Barrage: students will ask 3 questions to each researcher 1 min per question  

Students ask three questions to each researcher, for each question the researchers have one minute to answer. Students will know they will have this round available, but the questions will not be prepared.

 

 

Teacher/educator

The description of the activity and the zoom link to connect will be sent to the teacher. 

The teacher will tell the students about how the activity works and their role in the meeting and she/he will make sure the students have the zoom link and connect on time.

The teacher may act as a moderator for the event.

Researcher/invited expert

The activity involves space science experts from research centres or companies.

These experts are invited to participate in the activity and if they are happy to proceed may be required to meet up with the moderator before the event to discuss potential questions and topics.

The moderator will be presented with the list of questions before the event, and the experts can prepare accordingly.

Stakeholder

Science experts in the sector are the key player of the activity.

Space researchers from national or international companies can be contacted through official channels (for ex. researchers from ESA, ASI, INFN, INAF or other national companies).

 

Key elements for inclusivenes

Perhaps include researchers and experts from under-represented groups, or who come from non-traditional science backgrounds.

Extra information

It is advisable to connect with the experts at least 15 minutes before the activity, to check the internet connection and review the programme.

 

For more information contact alfonsi@psiquadro.it