Orchard Middle School Students Travel to Mars and Work as Scientists During Winterm
Travel to Mars with Orchard’s Marsville crew! See footage from inside their colony on Mars and hear from students as they explain what it takes function on The Red Planet.
“In this Winterm class, students will discover what it takes to build a colony on Mars. Then, we will actually do it! We will start by using the work of other scientists to figure out what it takes to colonize another planet. Using NASA data and mission plans, our work will begin! We will figure out how to get to Mars, grow food, recycle water, protect against drastic temperature fluctuations, and build structures that can survive Martian winds. We won’t just research and write a plan - we will actually follow through! As the students in this class become mission specialists, we will train our bodies for micro-gravity, prepare meals for the long trip to Mars, and build systems to help us prepare food and water once we reach The Red Planet. The project culminates as we build life-sized replicas of our colony and live in them for the day. Will we make it? Will our plans and preparation work? Let’s find out!”
What is Winterm? Winterm is a two-week intensive class that meets in February where students study a topic of passion or strong curiosity. Rather than a superficial exploration, this model allows for great depth of study and understanding. This two-week intensive term is known as Winterm. During Winterm, students engage in one mixed-grade course which will go in-depth into a unit or field of study.One of the biggest benefits of an intensive class at a progressive school is students choose their Winterm course based on personal interest. This allows students the opportunity to run with an academic topic, which also fuels a personal passion. In this atmosphere, students are excited to pursue more information and dive deep into the curriculum. It is a pure celebration of learning within a group of students who share a similar interest. Examples of Winterm courses: a musical production; Cook Healthy, Eat Local; Business Leadership in the Next Generation; Marsville: Colonizing the Red Planet; Creative Writing and Illustrating; and Slot Car Racing.