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Offline Randall Sadler

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Here you'll find "post-reading" ideas associated with this article from

In the Reading section of the forum, you can also find pre-reading and during-reading ideas for this article.
Randall Sadler, Site Owner
Asst. Prof, Linguistics, U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Offline jmerchant88

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Here are a couple of ideas for post-reading activities for this article. Both are short writing activities that could be assigned as homework.

1) Write a short response (400-500 words) to the following prompt:
When reflecting on the e.DeOrbit project, do you think it will be successful as a solution to the junk in space? Why or why not? What do you think is good and/or bad about this solution? Why? What are some challenges this project might face?

2) The last paragraph of the article mentions that there are other proposed projects to remove the junk in space. Do some research and find some information about at least one other proposed junk-removal program for space. Write a short description of the project explaining how it works. What are some similarities and differences between that program and eht e.DeOrbit project? Do you think one will be more successful than the other? Why? Your response should be 400-500 words. Please remember to acknowledge your sources.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 02:21:17 PM by jmerchant88 »

Offline yelenafk

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This activity should take place after students have read the Space article. It focuses on listening and speaking, though learners can write down their answers as well.

According to the article, what are some barriers to removing space junk? Can you think of any other potential problems that the article doesn't mention? Discuss in small groups. Be prepared to share your answers with the class.

(Possible answers: it's expensive; there are thousands of pieces of space junk; they might be tumbling, which would make them harder to seize; removing them would require international cooperation; and so forth)
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 03:01:26 PM by yelenafk »

Offline Godin

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A "post-reading" idea for this article that I thought might be a little more creative would be to have the students design their own "space junk" capturing device.

The article doesn't go into much depth about what design the space craft might have, but with this short beginning paragraph:

"Called e.DeOrbit, the debris-hunting spacecraft would zoom to a polar altitude of between 500 and 620 miles (800 and 1,000 kilometers) and then approach a piece of debris. After using sensors to move in close, it would then capture the junk in some way, perhaps using a net, or harpoon, or tentacle."

You can kinda get an idea of what they want, as well as by looking at the pictures. So after the students have read the article, having them perhaps do a little research, look up a few different articles on the e.DeOrbit idea, you could have the students try and draw or describe their own version of the space junk hunting machine. I feel like this would be a fun little activity to have the students participate in in order to both get them thinking about how hard it is for the aero engineers and NASA scientists to come up with ideas for this, as well as have the students do something a little fun.

You don't have to be an artist to do this either, as just coming with ideas about how the robot could capture junk and writing them down next to a stick figure drawing could qualify for the assignment!

Offline adunse

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My post-reading activity is very similar to Sam's (above).

In order to review vocabulary from the article and extend comprehension, the students could create their own design proposals of how the debris could be removed.  These could be based on the ideas mentioned in the article or be original.
  • Review the terminology in the article on how the debris will be removed  (net, tentacle, harpoon etc.) The teacher could show pictures of these terms as we commonly see them (ie.  a net for a fish tank, a tentacle on an animal).
  • Then ask the students to remember which method the picture from the article shows.  They could compare how the "space" net is different from say a pool net or net for a fish tank.
  • Next the teacher can ask pairs or small groups of students to take one of the design proposals from the article and draw a picture representing how it might work in space to remove debris (ie.  a tentacle on a space craft).  Students can prepare their own proposals complete with picture descriptions of the invention, where the debris will eventually end up (an extension of the article), and maybe even include a cost estimation. Put these on big pieces of flip chart.
  • Students can put up a "gallery" of their proposal flip-charts around the room.  And then have everyone comment on at least 3 proposals (not their own).  Use post-it notes.
  • In the end students could have two larger group (6 Ss) discussions about which proposals they thought were the best. As a team decide on one proposal to "endorse."  Could assign roles here to help facilitate this large group discussion. Or provide question cards for participation. This needs management consideration especially depending on the age/level of students.
  • Then both large groups come together and share their favorite proposals. Then the 1-2 groups that were chosen present to the whole class.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 08:05:41 AM by adunse »


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Oh darn, Sam already mentioned one of my ideas. It's a good one, Sam! Anyways, here is a different (and far less creative) option:
Design some comprehension questions which move from less to more complex (according to Bloom's Taxonomy). For example:

1. This article is about:

      a. NASA and other space programs
      b. European space exploration
      c. the problem of space junk and solutions to clean it up
      d. new methods for placing object in space

2. How many pieces of debris ("junk") are in space?

3. How did so much junk get into space?

4. Why is space junk a problem?

5. Can you think of any other problems (other than those mentioned in the article) that space junk might cause?

6. The article mentions a few different countries that are currently working to find a solution to the space junk problem. Who should be responsible for cleaning up this junk? Which country should take primary responsibility for conducting the clean up efforts? Give reasons to support and explain your answer.

7. The article mentions several different proposed methods/technologies for cleaning up space junk. Which do you think is best? Give reasons to support and explain your answer.

The more complex questions (like the last two questions here) could be expanded into a group project, a persuasive essay, a debate or some other more involved project.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 12:14:57 PM by »

Offline haelim2

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I missed a class when the class assigned the activities, so I just post about post reading activity for the article.

most of the other classmates came up with great ideas.

I would like to say that post activities should be external and creative rather than talking about the reading.

Therefore, I would like to suggest to share some ideas.

For example, " Why do we make spaceship?" or " What would you like to do if you have to take care of bunch of trash that should be

taken care of, and no one wants to clean up near your neighborhood?"

By doing this activity, I think the students can understand the situation more easily and perhaps expand their knowledge about spaceship and global issues with garbage.