Virtual learning is nothing new to kids who have been in school through the pandemic, and new technology in the classroom will stick around long after students fully return. MSUM student Aubrie Vivant knew this when planning her web series, 'Space Chase.'
As a film production student and a Scholar's Apprentice working in the campus planetarium, Aubrie combined her skill and interest to create a kid's video series. With other planetarium workers' help, she planned and will film, edit and upload the episodes hoping that elementary students will learn about the planets by watching.
Aubrie said she wanted her peers with a background in STEM or astronomy to talk about the topics and then use her strengths to break the content down in an easy-to-digest format for kids. She also wants to connect and engage with the kids who are watching the series.
Aubrie is interested in the new technology that expands how people, especially students, learn. The YouTube series 'Crash Course' is what inspired her interest in developing ‘Space Chase.’
"I love to learn, and I learn best by watching people explain things,” she said, “I can't sit and read articles and teach myself about something."
Aubrie plans to reach out to local Fargo-Moorhead schools to offer her educational series for first through third grade and potentially beyond. She will feature other planetarium employees in segments during the series.
"We're planning on sending the videos to schools, so that they can look over the whole thing and prep lessons around that," she said.
As far as content, Aubrie is sticking to information from a NASA website. She uses creative and age-appropriate explanations and refers to that site's facts for each episode. Episodes will talk about space facts in a fun and kid-friendly way, like explaining the concept of a year by relating it to how often we have birthdays.
"Another staff member at the planetarium, MJ, [is] doing 'Mythology Minute.' It's a brief section within the show talking about where the names came from or telling a story with those characters in it," Aubrie said.
MJ West, along with Bridget Grosz, Abby Brieter, and even Rascal, the unofficial planetarium mascot or pet lizard, will make an appearance in 'Space Chase,' with guidance from the planetarium director Dr. Sara Schultz. Aubrie created this series because of her work at the planetarium and the freedom and encouragement Schultz gives student workers.
Shultz encouraged Aubrie and the other students to submit their projects for the Student Academic Conference (SAC). She will present a slideshow and show a snippet of 'Space Chase' and is eager to recognize her and her peers' hard work.
"Now, as we're getting better and better at it," she said, "I'm excited for more people to see it, and hopefully, the conference can help with that."
Aubrie hopes the opportunity to present at the conference will bring more engagement to her show and “help me be more confident in telling people about work I've done," she said.
To find Aubrie's presentation and hear more about 'Space Chase,' head to the Student Academic Conference website to see the full schedule and list of student presenters.
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