For centuries space has inspired the greatest minds in many fields, to explore, discover and create. It is impossible to not feel awestruck every time we see an image capturing the view from far above. We believe space exploration is a brilliant way to bring the wonder of the universe into everyday classrooms. So much so that we created an entire schematic program, based on real NASA astronaut training, for preschoolers! However, why should we integrate themes or phenomenons such as ‘space’ into learning? Moreover, what makes ‘space exploration’ the ideal theme? Let’s take a closer look.
What on earth is PBL?
PBL or Phenomenon Based Learning is a holistic and multidisciplinary education approach. It draws knowledge from many different subjects to find answers for challenges we are facing today. PBL breaks from the traditional practice of teaching mathematics, history, arts, music and other subjects as stand alone capsules. Instead it uses ‘phenomena’ or real world topics such as space exploration, climate change, World War II, etc. as an umbrella. Then, these phenomena are studied by working across several subjects and developing life skills simultaneously.
Teachers tap into the curiosity and inquisitiveness of learners. Students are encouraged to raise questions, identify problems and find solutions to them. In return, students become highly motivated and invested to study deeper the topics they have selected as important to them. Moreover, PBL also encourages teachers and students to work together with their peers.
Why is PBL important?
The challenges we face today such as climate change, resource security, health, or governing culturally diverse societies are quite complicated. We need to understand what causes these issues and come up with innovative solutions. However, this requires combining the knowledge and skills we have on various subjects from the past and present. This is where phenomenon based learning steps in. Not only does it focus on learning, but also how the learners can apply what they know to solve real-world issues. PBL is not a new strategy to the field of pedagogy. In fact, schools in Finland have used this approach since the 1980’s. Today, 7-16 year olds across the country experience everyday subjects being brought to life, as PBL is combined with modern technology.
What gives space exploration an edge?
Space or the phenomenon of space exploration is much more than travelling in a rocket. It’s about daring to explore the unknown, developing a taste for adventure and pushing your limits. Moreover, it is a theme that integrates a wide variety of subjects and skills from many disciplines. For example it
- combines STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math).
- emphasizes physical, social and emotional well-being.
- addresses a multitude of skills including teamwork, leadership and cultural competence.
- demands intensive research, training and becoming an expert in a specific subject whether it is robotics or languages.
- introduces topics such as international cooperation and environmental conservation.
In other words space exploration is an ideal phenomenon to learn about many important subjects in an incredibly fun way.
Training Future Astronauts
Becoming an astronaut and travelling into space is a dream that most kids, and adults, have. We believe every child should train like a future astronaut. So we created the Future Astronauts Program to give preschoolers the opportunity to train like astronauts from right here on Earth. It helps little kids to learn big subjects and important life skills from the safety of space inspired learning environments. Moreover, it also supports educators to adapt the mindset and develop the skills to become ‘future astronaut trainers’. We know from experience that all across the world from Finland to China space exploration is one of the most sort after themes by kids, educators and parents. It is a super fun phenomenon that prepares kids to ‘shoot for the moon’ both literally and metaphorically. Hop on board a space themed learning adventure and discover the universe of knowledge and skills that awaits you!
Find out more about the Future Astronauts Program and get full access for FREE!