Authentic Project Ideas – A Photograph as Inspiration

Cape Canaveral

Flying down to Florida recently, we had an amazingly clear day.  We could see the ground for almost the entire flight.  In all my years of flying down to Florida (I grew up in South Florida) I have never seen views like this.  The picture above is a photo of Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center in Central Florida.  You can see two launch pads, the Vehicle Assembly Building, and the shuttle landing strip!

This, of course, got me thinking about authentic projects.  So many ways to go just using this photo as a prompt.

Why were we able to see so much on this flight?  I have flown this flight dozens and dozens of times and never had this view. What was different about the weather?  What might have caused this?

Or…what is currently being constructed in the Vehicle Assembly Building?  What mission is being planned?

Or…why was the cape built right on the ocean?  Weather?  Safety?  Politics?  (That certainly entered into play for the location of the Johnson Space Center and Mission Control in Houston.)

Or…how many NASA centers are there in the United States?  What is the mission of each center?  What space programs exist in other countries?  Segue into the International Space Station.

Create a timeline of all space missions that have happened.  Identify them by countries involved.  Locate these countries on a map. Learn about the history of the space programs in these countries. Write a report, create a chart or graph…

Design and build a model rocket.  Design and build a model for a new space station.  Plan a new mission…

The sky (and beyond) is the limit with this photo and authentic projects that it might inspire…

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