Year 7 STEM Scientists’ Mission to Stop the Space Probe from Overheating

Miss Tahan’s Year7 Science classes have been engaging in an engineering challenge relating to NASA’s mission to send the Parker Solar Probe to the Sun.

In groups, students were asked to solve the challenge by designing and building a heat shield that stops a chocolate bar from melting. This chocolate bar represented the Parker Solar Probe. Each person in the group was given a responsibility, and through this students learnt that engineers do not work alone.

Students were engaged in the process of STEM by defining the problem, brainstorming ideas, researching about the heat conductivity of the materials provided, designing a solution, creating a prototype and testing and evaluating this prototype. 

Building a Design

Students then set up a hair dryer attached to a retort stand and tested their heat shields by measuring the temperature of a chocolate bar that is positioned behind the heat shield. They then evaluated the design of the heat shields by analyzing their results and comparing this to other groups.