The Magic Planet has been a wonderful addition our programs here at the MathScience Innovation Center. We use the Planet to teach a classroom lesson entitled “Planet Trek: The Solar System Experience” for 6th graders. We have taught the lesson in 40 different middle schools in the Richmond, VA metro area. It has become one of our most requested lessons.
“One reason why we purchased it is it’s a dynamic virtual teaching tool,” Mascotti said. “It evolves with time. When new datasets are available we can use them. It’s a very democratic teaching tool.”
In Rochester, students come to the facility. Mascotti has a 90-minute session with third graders, teaching them how to tell the difference between stars and planets in the night sky, among other things. He also has developed lessons for eighth graders on plate tectonics on Mars and on Earth. He’s working with teachers in the district to develop materials on geography, and is also exploring using the Magic Planet to teach math.