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The film First Man is well-crafted and an exciting watch that features excellent performances and realistically depicts the preparations and risks associated with the launch of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. To a certain extent, the film is less about the events of the mission and more about the pressures, dreams and realities of the spirit of endeavour during the cold war within the backdrop of the race between the Soviet Union and USA to conquer space. Throughout the film, the theme of mortality is explored both within Neil Armstrong’s own immediate family and within the broader context of the NASA team preparing for their mission.
Watching it made me realise how similar the story of the Apollo missions are to LGfL’s Space Adventures which takes learners through the different stages of a mission from pre-launch preparations, to inflight challenges and eventual return back to earth. It features support for the Science, Literacy and Maths curriculum with a whole section created by Max Wainewright mapped to the Computing curriculum.
Virtual Reality is used to provide learners with the part of the mission on the moon where the intrepid astronaut Tazz is required to mine the raw material Dysprosium, a mineral prized back on earth for use in the construction of our smart phones. Our partners at Inspryo recently provided an update to our new KS1 AR resource Significant People; it now has a VR element – a Lunar VR experience which places you in the space suit of Neil Armstrong and allows the viewer to explore the surface of the moon and view the experiments that were completed during that first expedition to the moon.
Within the Space Adventures resource, there are many opportunities for learners to explore issues of mortality, morality and environmental issues through poignant video content and through the unique narrative created by award winning author Cath Howe. It has been fantastic to see how the resource has captured the imagination in schools recreating the spirit of adventure and endeavour.
The Polar Exploration in the Heroic Age of Scientific Discovery produced in partnership with the Scott Polar Research Institute covers similar themes of Scientific exploration on the limits of human knowledge and understanding within the context of the time. The extraordinarily primitive equipment is often a revelation to our smart phone generation of learners in schools today. Exning Primary School used their recent investment in Chrome books and Class VR headsets to recreate their own polar landscapes to demonstrate their knowledge learned.
As LGfL launches its bold partnership with Adobe to provide the Creative Cloud Suite of professional creative tools to schools, we hope that teachers and learners will accept our very modern challenge and aim to pioneer in the way that many of our hero’s from the past did through their own creative endeavours. There are plenty of support opportunities on offer via the LGfL training portal to equip teachers with the required insights and skills with the Adobe tools. Related to the Moon landing… our introductory course on Photoshop ‘Get started with Imaging’ at the Adobe Education Exchange is about the Apollo 11 moon landing. The course covers the teaching basics of Photoshop with the project ‘I was there when…’ and shows how you can put yourself into a historic photo.
We want our learners and teachers to explore their own creativity in ways no one has previously, to inspire each other through their own creative adventures and focus on the issues that affect and concern them, be that climate change, politics, self-image or storytelling though images, video or sound.
By continuing to work with world class partners, LGfL hopes to help create a new spirit of creative endeavour in our schools and lead the way in what can be achieved through creative, collaborative thinking and self-expression.
B.Usher, LGfL Content Manager