Mission On The Moon Program

Submitted by Avis Beek, Assistant Professor, Faculty of education at Wilfrid Laurier University

The Mission on the Moon program aims to deliver lunar rover and space-themed STEM programming for Canadian youth in grades 6 to 9. It is a collaborative project between InkSmith and the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University with the financial support of the Canadian Space Agency. This program is designed to spark interest in space and introduce students to coding, robotics and STEM competencies in an engaging and accessible way. The Canadian Space Agency’s contributions to space exploration and the Lunar Gateway Project are highlighted throughout.

Mission on the Moon is a bundle of free coding and robotics modules. Comprehensive educator resources include curriculum connections, teacher guides, and presentation slides. Created in alignment with the 2022 revised Ontario Science and Technology curriculum, this program will build important digital and coding skills while inspiring youth to pursue an interest in space and STEM-related fields. Educators gain access to a comprehensive library of educational resources and classroom-ready lesson materials. Students receive accessible and approachable learning opportunities regardless of their experience.

To make the modules as accessible as possible, the computational thinking and coding activities can be done with or without hardware. For each Mission on the Moon module, you will find two versions: a course designed for virtual coding, and a course designed to be used with physical robotics hardware. In the virtual coding courses, “Your Mission” can be completed online in a virtual coding environment (using Scratch and Tinkercad) and requires no physical hardware. In the physical hardware courses, “Your Mission” is designed around using physical components, namely the micro:bit and InkSmith’s k8 robot. If you have a micro:bit and k8 robot, you’ll be able to extend the learning experience and complete all of the missions in real life by programming your robot to complete specific tasks using Microsoft’s Makecode.

InkSmith aims to make all Mission on the Moon content accessible and approachable for all – regardless of experience, background, or gender. All modules will eventually be translated into French and curriculum expectations from all Canadian provinces and territories will be addressed. InkSmith and the Laurier Faculty of Education continue to work together to deliver Mission on the Moon programming with a specific focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Enroll in MotM for free here