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MS Jedi Science
Mondays @ 9am - 10:30am
Ages 11-14/Grades 6-8
w/ Master Jedi Peter
Using the methodology of Edu-LARP (Educational Live Action Role Play), students will work together to save the world of Onderon from an evil presence that has taken root on the planet. It is only with the power of the Photonic Force with they be able to defeat the ultimate evil influence of the Sith! The padowan learners are brought to the Jedi Academy to be instructed in the ways of the Mass x Acceleration (aka the Force) to solve problems using their superior intellect and genius.
This class covers Middle School Physical Science (Physics & Chemistry) as well as Earth & Space Sciences. The project based units are designed around the classic science projects that middle school students complete, such as Bridge Building, Egg Drop, Mouse Trap Cars, Rocket Design, Catapults, etc. First they will learn the science behind these projects, then using the Design and Engineering Method, they will creatively construct their solution to the problem. This course complies with the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) using what is referred to as the “blended story-line” to also cover different topics and standards in Life Science, as well as Engineering Design NGSS.
Edu-LARP is when we use a story as a backdrop and game mechanics to create a fun and exciting joint story, learning all of the science as we journey throughout the adventure. The students are responsible for the outcome of the story by doing the homework and other projects, making an impact by bringing peace to universe as future Jedi Knights. This particular game is a LARP style game where everything is very hands on. Even the story elements are things like properly learning lightsaber forms and combat. However, the entire time we “play the game” the adventurers are learning about The Law of Gravity, Newton's Laws of Motion, Thermodynamics, Work, Force, Planet Gravitation to name just a few. A full list of topics for the semester is sent upon enrollment in the class. In fact, it is how well the Padowans do on their homework, labs, and quizzes that earn the students experience points to help them level up and gain valuable power ups for the game. This will help them on their way to become a Jedi Knight. All of these topics are integrated into the story to give greater meaning to the students. There will be different encounters and story elements that will bring up the topics of science to make their character grow. In the end the final project is a Padowan Journal. This is an account of the Science and the Story from the point of view of their Padowan. Each Student will present their favorite adventurers, what happened, and what was learned at the end of the course.
Here is an intro to the story we will be creating this year:
The year is 21,057 (3996 BBY). This is the golden age of the Jedi. The republic is strong and doing well. There is much unrest in the galaxy, but the Jeci have been able to keep the peace, until now. There have been too many problems and not enough Jedi to go around. There have even been many Jedi that have left the order because they feel they can't keep yup with the stress and constant negotiations all across the known galaxy. This is why the Jedi Academy is counting on the the new recruits to train quickly to help ease this burden. The academy is located on the planet of Dantooine. Being the golden age of the Jedi this is also the golden age of the Sith. This is many years before the "rule of two" and there is even a training academy for the Sith on Corriban. You have been accepted as a padowan learner because of your intellect and prowess with the force (Mass x Acceleration). It will be up to you to help the universe and maintain peace through the galaxy.
After 20 years of teaching and developing these Edu-LARP curriculums, I have discovered that this method of teaching helps the students remember the details and have meaningful attachment to the material. There are no “random facts to be tested on.” All the information and science topics taught are important for them to succeed at the game and help their Padowan become a Hero. Thus, giving the Padowan a vested interest in learning the material, doing the work, and making memories about the science that are integrated into the memorable story we create together. Think of it as a very long fable that is teaching the science in a very real and personal manner.
Each class will usually go over quizzes, homework, or labs that were assigned the week before. This is to earn experience points to help their Heroes become stronger. Then there will be new NPCs (Non-Player Characters) as their teacher/guide/mentor for the day to drive the story forward. This NPC can do a number of different things. First and foremost they teach elements of science to be covered that day. They might also have some challenges and puzzles to solve. They might also present new problems that are occurring in the story and ask for their help in solving the problem. Projects will be taken on and need to be creatively solved. There will also be "encounters" with strange creatures and
forces, where they will have to use their powers(the science they learned) to defeat them. Then the cadets need to adapt to the random story and write up solutions to the problems presented. They will then be given homework and lab assignments to complete over the week.