Designing a Fitness Test for Astronauts

We are officially hooked on space! Our first challenge in our Learning Like an Astronaut project was to design a fitness test. We had full participation–every class delivered amazing entries with all students participating.

Classes had a month to learn about fitness and design a training program. The results were out of this world!

  • Kindergarten read a book about space and then danced their way to fitness, showing their knowledge through movement.
  • Grade 1/2 rewrote the words to the Hokey Pokey and included all sorts of strength, cardio, and agility exercises.
  • Grade 2/3 created an actual training program with some tough elements, showing good form, stamina, and creativity. They even had students dressed as trainers leading the program and announcing how each exercise could prepare you for space.
  • Grade 4 used this as a top secret mission putting together an outdoor obstacle course. They photographed the students completing the tasks, added written explanations of the exercises (by the students), and put it altogether in a fancy multimedia presentation. Whoa.
  • Grade 5/6 (winners of this challenge) used every inch of the gym to put together stations that were named after space phenomena and the students were definitely sweating with this intense workout.
  • Grade 7/8 used their tech skills to edit a video with flashing laser beams and “Eye of the Tiger.” It was very eye-catching and showed good team spirit.

Our Process for Reviewing Entries

We had a Specialized Space Crew of six students from various classes responsible for judging the entries. The students were referred by their teachers.The students created the success criteria.

Four of the six classes invited us to watch their fitness test. Two classes submitted their evidence electronically. After watching each entry our student group recorded their first impressions and shared positive feedback in a video. Before the next day, I sent the video to the class to view on their Smartboard within 24 hours. We felt it was important that the feedback was immediate.

During the fitness tests I took photos and videos so we would have documentation of the entries. All the files were placed in Google Drive so staff and students could spy on other classes and review all the entries. A number of classes spent some time on Friday reviewing the entries. It surprised me that students were most interested in listening to the feedback videos. The idea is that classes can learn from each other by assessing different approaches to the challenge.

Today the Specialized Space Crew spent two hours reviewing the evidence and videos, making notes and assigning points to each class.

I scribed their thoughts but all the points and feedback were direct student voice (not mine). Here are the class feedback sheets: Feedback for all Classes from Challenge #1

We had two classes tied in the points. To decide the one winner of this challenge, we asked the judges from those classes to step out of the room and the remaining judges discussed the two entries until they reached consensus on the winner. The winning class receives pizza so the stakes were high.

It was clear from the entries that students learned the value of being healthy and strong.


Our Next Challenge

The ink on the winner’s certificate hadn’t even dried and students were asking for the next challenge. We have a high level of student engagement for this project.

Here is the second challenge to be launched in the morning:

The Second Mission Handout


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