Home » Learning Scenarios » The Solar System and the Earth: where could humans live?

About this STEM integrated learning scenario

In the present lesson scenario (LS) students are involved in inquiry-based learning. They will be given the opportunity to analyze and evaluate scientific data, query-oriented evidence, infer and draw conclusions about the habitability of Earth in relation to the uninhabitability of other planets in the solar system. The topic chosen is relevant to STE(A)M education since content, activities, as well as pedagogical tools from Science, Math, Technology and Language Arts subjects, are integrated in one unit to spark interest in finding solutions related to the real-life questions chosen for the present LS.

In addition, the topic is considered very exciting for students aged 10-11 (or even for younger students), something that could possibly trigger their interest as well as their critical thinking and creativity skills even more. To this end, apart from the inquiry-based learning that serves as the main student-centred approach and/or framework, various brainstorming activities, problem-solving, web applications, modelling activities and cooperative learning will be used to further enrich and support the teaching process.

Throughout the learning scenario and its activities, students are expected to question evidence regarding the planetary habitability, explain why Earth is considered habitable compared to other planets considering, in particular, the factor of gravity, argue on the habitability of other planets in relation to Earth by recognizing and comparing certain scientific evidence/information about them. Students are expected to construct a 3D model of the solar system and explain how it works and argue on where humans could eventually live instead, that is, in case living conditions on Earth become less friendly for humans, by writing a fact-based article.

Author(s): Zoe Kofina Michael, Paraskevi Sophocleous, Floria Valanidou

Subject(s): Mathematics, Science, Technology, Art, Language

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Related real- life questions

This learning scenario explores the following real-life questions:

  • Why is the Earth habitable compared to other planets of the solar system?
  • Where could humans live in case living conditions on Earth become less friendly for them?

Related STEM Careers

With this learning scenario, students will have the opportunity to work with activities and materials that will introduce them to several potential STEM career paths, including:

  • Mathematician,
  • Environmental engineer
  • Technician engineer
  • Research analyst
  • Statistician

You can find related STEM jobs profiles on the STE(A)M IT repository:

CC BY: this learning scenario is licenced under the Creative Commons license. This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, if they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.