Importance of Satellites
Grade Level: 7-12
Students will examine the role of satellites in their everyday lives and depict what their lives would be like without them.
To allow students to develop a better understanding of the impact of satellite technology, their relevance to our societal needs, and to link the following science lessons to a meaningful real world context.
- Students will list different ways satellites address societal needs of mankind.
- Students will use creative writing to describe a typical day with satellite technology.
- Students will examine their typical day and rewrite it to describe the same day without satellite technology.
- Students will discuss the broad impacts of satellite technology and the various ways our society has both driven and benefited from this development.
Satellites are important to us in many ways that we often take for granted. They provide us with radio and cable television. They allow us to make cellular phone calls from long distances. They provide us with a global positioning system (GPS) so that we know exactly where we are and we can find directions to anywhere we want to go. They circle the earth and relay weather conditions and forecasts. The government uses them to spy on other countries in order to protect us. They are used for space research, which includes the SOHO satellites that observe the sun and provide us with early warnings of upcoming solar flares. These solar flares have been known to knock out various satellite communication links, which allow us to use our credit cards and to use beepers. Satellites even monitor crops and tell farmers which fields need to be fertilized in order to produce healthy crops of corn and other foods. All of these satellite services are very valuable to us.
Activities and Procedures:
- Students brainstorm in small groups to list ways satellites are used.
- Student groups present their ideas to the class and create a master list on the board.
- Using the background information above, the teacher may add to and further describe this list.
- Leave the information on the board and have students individual write a short story describing a typical day and all the ways they encounter, use, or are benefited by satellite technology.
- Have students volunteer to read their stories out loud to the class and as they read, have other students identify where satellite technology played a role.
- Have students go through their short story and underline their writing to identify when satellite technology plays an important role in the writing.
- Have students rewrite their story to depict the same day without satellite technology, making sure to change all parts of the story that are underlined.
- After students have shared these, you may want to read the two versions included in appendix 1.
- Lead a class discussion making sure to cover what needs we had the led to the development of satellite technology and how this technology has changed our world.
- Create a rubric to evaluate the two versions of the satellite stories that students write.
- Distribute version 1 (appendix1) to students and have them write the second version. Create a rubric to evaluate their version.
- Have students write a paragraph explaining the relevance of satellite technology to their own lives.